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Cornell University Library 
SH 439.H71 ' 

The game fishes of the world / 

3 1924 003 640 707"' 



Cornell University 

The original of tiiis book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 

Fig. 1. 
Salmon Fishing on a Rainy Day on the Hoddcr, England. (The Author). Frontispiece, 







THE present volume was designed to provide a well illus- 
trated condensed account of the principal game fishes 
of the world. So far as the author knows, such a volume has 
not been given to the public, and the data can only be had by 
consulting many different volumes, pamphlets, reports, and 
monographs, found only in widely separated libraries. 

Anglers frequently wish to consult a volum.e of this kind, 
and I have often been asked if such a book, giving the essentials, 
and what is popularly known as ' up to date ' information on the 
subject, is available. If the result of my efforts is found of value 
and interest to anglers, travellers and sportsmen in various lands, 
I shall be more than gratified. 

It is evident even to the casual reader that to exhaust so 
comprehensive and voluminous a subject as The Game Fishes 
of the World, a number of volumes would be required, hence I 
have endeavoured to confine myself to the prime essentials, 
mentioning only those forms which have been recognized as game 
fishes by anglers in variaus parts of the world. 

Practically, all the desirable fishes have been referred to, and 
more or less data relating to most of them given. If the curiosity 
of the reader is aroused and more detail required, a brief bibho- 
graphy has been appended in which will be found mentioned 
works which describe the various fishes in a more comprehensive 
manner ; works which can be found in the library of almost any 
town or city in England or America, and all in the sumptuous 
library of the British Museum. 

In the preparation of this volume I have availed myself of 
a wide personal experience in the United States, Canada, the 


Atlantic and Pacific oceans and the Gulf of Mexico, a residence of 
several years, winter and summer, on the outer Florida reef, 
where the faima is practically identical with that of the Bahama, 
Bermuda, Lesser Antilles and the Caribbean Sea in general. I 
have also observed some of the angling rivers of Western Europe 
and the fisheries of the Eiviera, and have had the dehght of 
standing on the banks of the Hodder, Eibble and Tweed, salmon 
rod in hand. I know the charm and beauty of the Yure and its 
grayling, though my actual experience is limited. Aside from 
this, I have availed myself of all available sources of information 
in America, the United Kingdom and Europe to make the volume 
as useful and comprehensive as possible in so limited a space, 
and if the angler misses some reference, as he undoubtedly will, 
I plead guilty of having omitted it as a non-essential. Wherever 
possible I have given my personal experience. 

I wish to express my thanks and obligations to many British 
anglers, particularly to Mr. E. B. Marston, Editor of the Fishing 
Gazette and founder of the Fly Fishers Club, whose courtesies 
have been unremitting. I have availed myself fully of his most 
valuable journal, his books and those of the Amateur Angler. 
My thanks are due to the British Sea Anglers Society for much 
aid and for the privilege of attending their meetings, and for 
courtesies from Mr. F. A. S. Stern, Mr. F. D. Holcombe, Sir J. 
Wrench Towse, Mr. L. J. Graham Clarke, Dr. I. Sefton Sewill and 
others. Also to the members of the Fly Fishers Club, to Mr. F. M. 
HaLford and others for many courtesies in the Club, the views of 
their wonderful collection of flies, the use of their library, and 
warm hospitality when I was in England partly to obtain data 
for my books. My hearty appreciation is also due to Mr. H. T. 
Sheringham, the AngUng Editor of the Field, to Mr. E. Thorn 
Annan, Mr. W. W. Simpson of Whalley, Mr. George Hodgson of 
Hexton Manor and Mr. W. D. CoggeshaU, resident members of 
the Tuna Club in England, Mr. E. M. Mallett, Mr. G. A. Boulenger, 
F.E.S., and many more. 

I am particularly indebted to Mr. C. H. Cook, ' John Bicker- 


dyke,' whose Book of the All-Bound Angler I found indis- 
pensable. My warm thanks are due to Mr. F. G. Aflalo, the 
founder of the B.8.A.S., for many courtesies and for the privilege 
of quoting from his most valuable books on sea angling in many 
seas, which he has sent me from time to time, in all, constituting 
a library of sport of the greatest value. 

My acknowledgements are due to the Glasgow Sea Anglers 
Association for many kindnesses, and an opportunity to meet 
anglers of that city. My thanks are due to Major Hills, at whose 
country seat, Alburgh Hall, I saw the Yure and its grayling, and 
to Mr. W. W. Simpson who enabled me to cast for salmon in the 
Hodder and Eibble, and to Mr. E. Thom Annan for invitations to 
fish his sea-trout river in Eoss-shire and his salmon water inWales. 
I am indebted to Prince Pierre d'Arenberg, President of the 
Casting Club of France, for many courtesies, not the least being 
a series of photographs of himself showing the first black bass 
taken by the Prince in France, where he is endeavouring to place 
angling on a firm basis. 

My thanks are due to Mr. Cotter and Mr. Streeter of the Tarpon 
Club of Port Aransas, Texas, Mr. Conn, Mr. Potter of the Tuna 
Club, Mr. Chas. V. Barton of Los Angeles for data relating to the 
shore angUng in California, and to Mr. T. S. Manning, Colonel 
Stearns, Mr. Smith Warren, and especially to Mr. H. Ormsby 
Phillips for the photographs of his remarkable catches with light 
tackle and permission to use them. 

I am particularly indebted to Mr. P. V. Eeys, of Avalon, Santa 
CataUna, California, for the admirable set of Living game-fish 
pictures of that region, unique ia every respect, and for the use of 
several copyright photographs, and to Dr. B. F. Alden and his col- 
laborator for the wonderful X-ray radiograph photographs shown 
in the volume, and to Mr. W. Carter Piatt for photographs used 
in the book. I am indebted to Mr. James Horsburgh, Jr., of San 
Francisco, for photographs of the Pacific Coast and angling lakes 
and streams ; to Dr. David Starr Jordan, Dr. G. Hart Merriam 
for permission to use their books and reports, and finally to Mr. 

* yii 


Hunt of Key West for the photographs of Florida fishes, among 
the most admirable ever taken, and to Mr. George A. Weber 
of the Laurentian Club and San Souci, Quebec, for many atten- 
tions and permission to use his photographs of angling scenes and 
places in Canada where we have fished together. 

Pasadena, California, TJ.S.A. 
July, 1913. 





SaiiMOn Fishing in England 1 

The Grayling 18 

Some English Tkout Streams 25 

Some Small Game Eishes of England (Coarse Eish) . 34 

The Pikes and their Cousins 44 

Sea Angling in Great Britain 53 

^ The Tope and other Leaping Sharks 64 

Some Game Fishes of India 72 


The Santa Catalina Island Swordeish. .... 85 




The Leapinq Tuna 98 

The Little Tunas Ill 

The Tunaplane oe Kite 117 

The Black Sea Bass and other Large Fish . . . 125 

The White Sea Bass and Weakush 134 

Windows for Sea Anglers 143 

The Yellowtail of California 150 


The Small Pacific Coast Sea Eishes 162 

Some Game Fishes of Spain, France and Portugal . . 176 

Along the Rivieea 185 


Angling in Austria, Germany and the Italian Lakes . . 189 


Some Game Fishes of the Scandinavian Peninsula . . 201 




The Salt- Water Jacks 208 

The Small Game Fishes of Florida 216 

The Barracuda 232 

The Bluefish, Channel Bass and Striped Bass . . . 238 

The Silver King 248 

The Pacific Coast Salmon 262 

The Rainbow Trout and its Cousins 273 

The Rainbow at Sea (Steelhead) 288 

The Black Bass 299 

The Canadian Lakes and Streams 310 

The American Chabrs (Brook Teout) 319 


The Rays 332 




Some Gajib Fishes or Africa, Austbauu., New Zealand and New 
South Wales 339 

The Game Fishes of Japan, China and the Phujppinbs . 345 

The Game Fishes of Hawaii 357 

Some Game Fishes of South Amebica ..... 362 


Fishes of the Bahamas, Beemudas, Jamaica, etc. . . . 370 

Some Famous Angiing Clubs 377 

Appendix I ......... . 398 

Appendix II 400 

Index ' 403 





The Author Salmon Fishing in England 

R. Thorn Annan on the Tweed 

The Edinburgh Salmon Club . 

R. Thorn Annan Casting . 

A River Wye Salmon 

A River Wye Catch (two rods) 

A Eorty-three-pound Salmon . 

Colonel Robertson on the Wye 

Mr. Graham-Clarke on the Wye 

Mr. MiUer's Forty-three Pounder 

Stalking Trout 

Grayling on the Wharfe 

Netting a Grayling . 

Spinning for Trout . 

A Dry Fly Cast 

Radiographs of Trout 

An Autumn Trout Stream (England) 

A Lady Angler in England 

Mr. and Mrs. R. B. Marston at Scarborough 

Conger Fishing in England 

Mr. Murmann's Conger 

Mr. F. D. Holcombe's Skate 

Mr. Mignot's Halibut 

The World's Record Sword Fish Catch by Mr. Warren 

Sword Fish Catch of Colonel Dorsey and Mr. Sharp. 

The Florida'Sail Fish 




























The Xiphias at Santa Catalina Island ..... 100 
The Leaping Sword Fish (Santa Catalina Island) . . .108 

The World's Record Tuna (Mr. Ross) 112 

The Start 116 

Strike of Long-fin Tuna ........ 116 

Weighing Long-fin Tuna ........ 116 

Having the Picture taken . . . . . . .116 

A Black Sea Bass Catch (four rods). ..... 120 

Kite Fishing for Leaping Tuna ...... 124 

Leaping Tuna at Santa Catalina ...... 124 

Elite ahead of Laimch ........ 124 

The Giant Saw Fish 128 

A White Sea Bass Catch (four rods) 136 

A Santa Catalina Record ....... 140 

The Sand Bass 144 

The Long-fin Tuna 148 

The Pacific Mackerel 148 

The Yellow-fin Tuna 148 

The Luvarus Jack ......... 148 

A Lady's Catch (Avalon Bay) ....... 152 

Mr. H. Ormsby Phillips Playing a YeUowtail .... 156 

Mr. Joseph Banning's Nine-ounce Rod in Action . . . 156 

The Rod after Thirty Minutes 156 

Going Home (a Fishrug Boat) ....... 156 

Mr. H. Ormsby Phillips' Yellowtail 156 

The Blue-eye Perch 160 

The Whitefish (Blanquillo) 160 

The Rock Bass 164 

The Blacksmith Fish 168 

The Roncador 168 

White Perch 168 

The Spot Perch 168 

The Surf-Fish 168 

The Striped Perch 168 



A Nine-ounce Rod Catch of Barracuda 

Naples' Rshing Boats 

Hauling the Seine (Mentone) . 

Anghng at Genoa . 

The Huchen .... 

Baron Von Rummel in Austria 

Baron Von Rummel on the Traun 

Red Grouper . 

Jew-Fish . 


Mangrove Snapper 

Hogfish . 

The Jack 

The Channel Bass 

The Author's Tarpon 

The Royal Chinook Salmon 

The Striped Bass 

The Florida Barracuda 

The Author's Salmon 

A Salmon Pool on the WiUiamson River, 

The Sprague River . 

Angling on the Kern River 

Pelican Bay Trout . 

Lake Tahoe Trout . 

A Silver Trout from Klamath Lake 

Land-locked Steelhead Trout . 

DoUy Varden Trout 

The Cranford Trout 

Lake Chelan Cut-throat Trout . 

X-Ray Photograph of Steelhead Trout 

A Normandy Chalk Stream 

Netting the Prince's Trout 

Erince d'Arenberg . 

A Pool on La Varenne, France 



. 172 

. 176 

. 176 

. 176 

. 192 

. 192 

. 192 

. 216 

. 216 

. 216 

. 216 

. 216 

. 216 

. 232 

. 232 

. 232 

. 232 

. 232 

. 264 

. 264 

. 272 

. 272 

. 272 

. 272 

. 276 

. 288 

. 288 

. 288 

. 292 

. 300 

. 300 

. 300 

. 300 




Black Bass and Wall-eyed Kke 304 

A Lady Playing a Bass ........ 320 

The Author at Lake Weber 320 

Lake Wapizzagonk Pickerel ....... 320 

Side View of Giant Ray 324 

Hauling in the Ray 324 

Lower View of Ray ........ 324 

Mr. Conn and his Capture ....... 324 

Claspers of Ray . . . . . ... . . 324 

An African Kabeljou ........ 332 

Black Sea Bass in Mexico ....... 356 

Major IVederick Russell Bumham and the Author in Mexico . 356 

Mexican Fishes ......... 356 

Giant White Sea Bass 356 

Spotted Bass 356 

The Rooster Msh 356 

The Nassau Grouper ........ 364 

Gray Snapper .......... 364 

The Coney 364 

The Blorida Yellowtail 364 

The Porgy 364 

The Angel-Ksh 364 

The Schoolmaster 368 

The Sheepshead (Florida) 368 

The Yellow Grouper 368 

The YeUow-fin Grouper 368 

The Black Angel-Ksh 368 

The Yellow Grunt 368 

The Santa Catalina Island Tuna Club Clubhouse . . . 384 

Mr. P. G. Aflalo Landing a Yellowtail 392 

Mr. Jones with his Nine-ounce Rod in Action .... 392 

Mrs. Manning Playing a Yellowtail 392 

Mr. Murphy and the GaflEed Sword Fish ^ . . . . 392 




' For often at night, in a sportive mood 
He comes to the brim of the moon-lit flood 
And tosses in air a cvarve aloft, 
Like the silvery bow of the Gods, then soft 
He plashes deUciously back in the spray, 
While tremulous circles go spreading away.' 


IN all probability, if any angler in any land should be asked 
to indicate the great game fish of the world, taken in fresh 
water, he would say without hesitation, the salmon {Salmo 
salar). And the same angler, without question, would concede 
the United Kingdom, all things considered, to be the most admir- 
able setting for the picture. I have no doubt many American 
salmon anglers, knowing the Canadian Eestigouche, and other 
rivers of the north and south sides of the great sea at the mouth 
of the St. Lawrence, and the superlative gameness of the salmon, 
might take exception to this ; but having in mind the beauties, 
of the 'EngUsh salmon streams, the marvellous system by which 
the sport is conserved, the pride of the people in it, the splendid 
literature that has been developed by it, the poesy, song and 
legend associated with it, and the type of men and women who 
indulge in it, on the highest plane of sportsmanship, I doubt 
if the decision could be controverted, or that many true anglers. 
would question the justice of it. 

It requires no little temerity to criticize a sport so firmly 
entrenched in the affections of a people, yet almost my first 
word of praise of this sort is tempered by a criticism : the rivers^ 
are too beautiful, too distracting for the angler with the ' artistic 

I r 


temperament,' and if one lias not the latter he has little 
interest or love for the real esthetic features of fly fishing. What 
chance has an angler, especially an American, when casting 
for salmon, on the Tweed, we will say, when a friend whispers, 
* If yon win cast yonr fly just over there, it will drop not far 
from the spot where Scott wrote Ivanhoe.' Or when casting 
for salmon on the Hodder, or was it the Eibble ? Father Irwin 
of Stonyhurst said, ' Ton gee the old bridge above ns (the charm- 
ing one I had been devonring with envious eyes) ? Cromwell's 
army crossed that in the seventeenth century.' And when my 
friend Annan took me down the Tweed to another bridge, under 
which salmon were lurking, that I might view its ancient beauty, 
a bridge that Scott usied, I forgot all about the salmon, the 
Jock Scotts and other flies the giUie had made for me at the 
Edinburgh Salmon Club, just as I missed the first salmon on 
the Eibble thinking of its old bridge and of Cromwell's army, 
as my seventh great grandfather doubtless crossed it, as he 
was one Edmund Johnson, a ' fighting parson ' in the army of 

How can a mere mortal concentrate his mind on angling on 
such rivers as the Tweed, Wye, Ure, Derwent, Esk and others 
where ifature has outdone herself in producing the most radi- 
antly beautiful vistas of green, of forests and sweeps of upland 
and lowland that blend and melt into the blue of the heavens 
in splendid pictures, no matter which way one turns or looks ? 
It is possible that I am too critical, but I submit that i£ I do 
not land my salmon some time on the Tweed or Wye I have 
at least given a reason. 

With this symposium of seeming levity, or appreciation, I 
approach the subject of the salmon, which, according to Walton, 
is ' the king of freshwater fishes.' As to the antiquity of salmon 
fishing in England, no one knows. The early Britons, the 
Anglo-Saxons and the Eomans who held the country several 
centuries, undoubtedly fished the salmon streams of England. 
The salmon, it is known, has been fished with rod and reel for 


at least two centuries, as Walton says, ' Yet sometimes he 
wiU, and not usually at a fly,' And when he refers to salmon 
tackle, ' Note also that many used to fish for salmon with a 
ring of wire on the top of their rod ; through which the line may 
run to as great a length as is needful, when he is hooked. And 
to that end some use a wheel about the middle of their rod, or 
near their hand.' This was in 1670 or thereabouts. But 
Walton doubtless borrowed his information regarding flies 
from Juliana Berners, who compiled or wrote a treatise on fishing, 
which was published by Wynken de Worde in The Booke of St. 
Albans, in 1486, over four hundred years ago. Eeferring to the 
salmon she says, ' You may also take him with a fly in like 
form and manner as you do a trout or grayling,' adding, ' but it 
is seldom seen.' 

No one can read the list of Juliana Berners' flies and not be 
impressed with the belief that flies were known and used for 
salmon years, yes, ages before, for as E. B. Marston says in his 
delightful Early Fishing Notes, 'Nothing but gradual evolution 
extending perhaps over centuries could account for this list. 
It is not necessary to quote Juliana Berners further, but her 
treatise on angling is yet the soul of the modern high standard 
in angling in England and America. This refers particularly 
to the angler and should be framed and hung in every club in 
the world : 

' Also ye shall not be to ravenous in takyng of your sayd game, as to moche 
at one tyme, which ye maye lyghtly doo yf ye doo in every poynt as this 
present treatyse shewyth you on every poynt. . . . Also ye shall besye your- 
self e to nouryssh the game.' 

It does not require much imagination to see the good Prioress 
of SopweU — Juliana — sending on Thursday to some monastery, 
stationed, as the missions of CaUfornia were, on or near a trout 
stream, a demand for salmon, at which we can imagine the monks, 
all anglers, waMng down to the river to catch the fish. An 
ancient canticle, handed down from the time, teUs the story : — 



' The sun was setting and vespers done, the monks came one by one, 
And down they went through the garden trim in cassock and cowl to 

the river's brim. 
Every brother his rod he took, every rod had a line and hook, 
Evely hook had a bait so fine, and thus they sang in the even shine^ 
" Oh ! to-morrow will be Friday, so' we fish the stream to-day ! 
Oh! to-morrow will be Friday, so we fish the stream to-day ! " — 

, Benedict. 

If it was not the salmon season doubtless the Prioress and 
the nuns caught pike, carp, trout, percli and tench from the 
Priory pond. 

Oppian in his Hcdieutica gave the Eomans a treatise on angUng ; 
and that the Greeks were anglers Homer tells us, 

' Of beetling rocks that overhang the flood, 
Where silent anglers cast insidious food, 
With fraudful care await the fitony prize, 
And sudden lift it quivering to the sMes.' 

Alexander the Great was entertained by sages who told him 
how the Macedonians caught fish with what they called a 
' hippurus,' the first fly known. It was as large as a hornet, 
looked- Uke a wasp, and when properly used, buzzed like a bee. 
This, doubtless, was the origin of the wasp fly, and was used with 
success on the river Astreus for certain ' speckled fishes ' of Aelian. 

Flies are not referred to in the Bible, but in the prophecies of 
Isaiah xix. ver. 8, we read, ' The fishes also shall mourn and all 
they that cast angles into the brooks.' This prophet must have 
known an angler who had cast into a brook, lost his fish, and 
who, like aU anglers, ancient and modern, perhaps mourned 
because the biggest fish ever hooked got away. 

Salmon fishing is practically the same in England and Eastern 
America. The fish is the same (8almo solar) ; it takes the fiy ; 
the chief differences are that the rivers in America where the 
best salmon fishing is found are larger, wilder, the conditions 
more primitive, the distances greater, the fish possibly larger, 

Fig. 3. Salmon Angling in Scotland on the Tweed, on a Dark Day. 

1 . R. Thom Annan has a Strike. 2. The Edinburgh Salmon Club. 

3. R. Thom Annan Casting on the Tweed, (Photo by the Author). p. 4. 


more numerous and harder fighters than in the rivers of the 
United Kingdom. Again the sport of salmon fishing in America 
is of comparatively recent accomplishment. There is little 
or no literature on the subject, compared to the scores of works 
Jby English authors, and it is the exceptional angler who is a 
sahnon fisher ; due to the fact that the best rivers in Canada, 
New Brunswick and other locaUties are nearly all taken by 
clubs or controlled. Notwithstanding this, America has had 
in the past fifty years many enthusiastic votaries of the sport, 
from Charles Hallock to Dean Sage, and its deMghts are well 
known and highly appreciated. Beautiful scenery is an essential 
quality of trout and salmon streams, and I fuUy believe the 
indulgence in the appreciation of it constitutes at least half of the 
sport ; hence it may be adduced that I am an uncertain angler. 
Yet I do not believe that the salmon takes its tail in its mouth 
and by releasing it suddenly, accordplishes its greatest leaps, as 
did the ancients, nor do I use lob-worms scented with oil of 
polypody for bait, suggested by Walton, though later on I shall 
make the melancholy confession that I have taken many salmon 
with sardines and some in a beautiful pool with a spoon ; but 
not until I had exhibited a Job-like patience with the fly. 

The English salmon doubtless has the same habit as its 
Canadian brother. In the winter it lies in deep water off the 
coast, possibly not far from the mouth of certain rivers, and 
there, in a splendid investment of silver, has the habit of a vora- 
cious salt-water fish, preying upon the small fry of all kinds in 
company with other predaceous fishes. In the spring it moves 
inshore, and urged on by instinct to deposit its eggs in the 
seclusion of the upper reaches of some river, it enters fresh water 
and slowly proceeds on its way despite all obstacles — ^nets, 
traps, poachers and scores of enemies — and accomplishes its 
end ; affording in the Atlantic and Pacific an example of per- 
tinacity and indomitable persistence without equal in the animal 
kingdom. It has even influenced man, who builds ladders 
and runways, and steals its spawn that it may not become ex- 



tinct. No subject has been more studied and -written about, 
and few subjects are so little understood. 

Fresh, water is essential to the production of the young. The 
eggs will not hatch in salt water, nor will the newly hatched young 
live in it. When the fish attain the upper reaches of the river, 
jumping falls, dashing up inconceivable rapids, they select 
gravelly shallows and deposit their eggs which are at once vivified 
by the milt of the male. 

The eggs are preyed upon by many enemies. There is 
scarcely a fish that will not eat them, and but a small percentage 
of the original deposit are hatched, in from eighty to one hundred 
and forty days, more or less, depending upon the temperature. 
The male and female salmon now return to the sea, in poor 
condition, known as kelts, or spent fish. 

The young at birth become victims to various enemies, from 
trout, grayling, perch, even snakes in America. They are known 
as parr. They move slowly down the river, but remain in fresh 
water for unknown reasons from one to three years. Half the 
progeny of a single fish, it is estimated, leave the river at the end 
of the first year ; two-thirds possibly of the remainder enter the 
sea in the second year, and the small residuum leave at the third 
year. The parrs are easily recognized as they are striped, 
like the swordfish, with blue bars. The parr begins to change 
as the impulse to migrate seizes it ; the bars fade away or are 
hidden, and the fish takes on a coat of brilUant silver, becomes a. 
smolt, and enters the sea — the winter home of its ancestors. The 
sea acts hke a sahne ehxir to the fish, and it may grow and 
develop in an extraordinary fashion within a brief period. Thus 
a smolt has been known to return to the river that it left in May 
or June, in August, or by the first of September, weighing any- 
where from two, or three, to ten pounds. 

Such a rettirning fish is known as a grilse. It is now sexually 
mature, and is on its way to the upper reaches of the river, 
the same one or some more convenient stream, to deposit spawn, 
which is accomphshed in November or December. To follow 


the history of such a fish, it returns to the sea a Jcelt, Kves offshore 
during the Tvinter, preying upon herring or such fishes as it 
follows, and other succulent game. This often gives it a remarks 
able growth, so that in the following spring when it enters the 
river, runs the gauntlet of poachers and netters, it appears in a 
pool of some fortunate angler, on the Bsk, we wiU say, a plump, 
fighting, full-fledged, salmon weighing possibly twenty pounds, 
that takes his fly and gives him the play of his life. 

It is the knowledge of this experience, this survival of the 
fittest, this extraordinary struggle to produce its kind against 
aU obstacles of man and nature, that gives the true angler the 
high appreciation of this royal fish. It is this that has made 
salmon fishing what it is in the United Kingdom, and when 
one hears the criticisms of some would-be anglers that the best 
fishing is bought, controlled by private owners or clubs in all 
lands, it is well to remember that without these safeguards, or if all 
the salmon rivers of Great Britain were thrown open to the public, 
the fish in five years would disappear, and salmon fishing would 
be a lost art and a legend. 

There are of course many curious and interestiag exceptions 
to the life history I have briefly drawn, which would flU a volume 
alone in their presentation and discussion. Some fish remain 
in the ocean a longer or shorter time. There is an interesting 
difference in the time of salmon in ascending the rivers of Great 
Britain. If the river is polluted, Mke the Thames, and no river 
should be polluted, they pass it by. In the rivers of Scotland 
that flow into the German Ocean and Pentland Firth, the ascent 
is easily made. In December and January there are fresh salmon 
in the Thurso and Naver rivers ; also in the Tay ; but in York- 
shire streams the ascent begins in July, August or September in 
wet seasons. If it is dry and the rivers very low, it will be 
delayed until the autumnal raias raise the rivers. 

It is not believed by Dr. Jordan, the eminent authority, that 
on the Pacific Coast the salmon invariably return to the same river 
in which they were hatched, or where they have spawned. This 



"belief holds to a certain extent in England, and has resulted, 
among many interesting experiments, in attempts being made 
to introduce artificially propagated eggs from one river to another 
on the principle of adding new vigour to a stock that habitually 
interbreeds. The beneficial result of this, if I am not mistaken, 
has been noticed in larger and better salmon. 

An interesting incident on the Eestigouche in ^JSTew Brunswick 
tends to show that, in some instances, salmon do return to the 
same stream, and will not, if interfered with. One owner of this 
river built a dam on his water to force the salmon to spawn lower 
down. The following year there was a great faDing off in salmon. 
In three years they had deserted the river, and when the pre- 
sent owners leased the river and removed the dam, it took 
five years to bring back the river to its original status. Among 
other attributes, salmon, it would seem, have memory, though 
of course they may have gone up the river and turned back ; 
but it is believed they did not enter in any numbers. Many of 
these interesting experiments have been carried on in a period of 
sixty years at the breeding establishment for salmon on the 
river Tay. 

We have, then, the salmon of twenty or fifty pounds, or the 
grilse of ten, in the upper pools of some of the English rivers 
in spring, summer, fall or winter, fresh from the sea and in the 
finest condition, full of vigour and ready to take a fly, which is 
made as alluring as possible by the various fly-makers of the 
kingdom. Salmon tackle that is so alluring and fascinating 
is practically the same in England and America ; that is, all the 
old flies that have come down the years, have been perpetuated 
in both countries : Jock Scott, Grey Turkey, Silver Doctor, Bull 
Dog, Durnham Sanger, Eoutledge's Fancy, Irishman's Stocking, 
Grey Doctor, Dun Turkey, Golden Pheasant, and many more. 

' A man that goeth to the river for his pleasure must understand 
when he goeth there to set forth his Tackles. The first thing he must do 
is to observe the sun, the wind, the moon, the starres and the wanes of 

Fig. 4 Salmon in England. 

1. From the Wye, April 10th, 1912, 45f lbs. male. 46 J ins. 

2. River Wye, 2 rods, 12 fish, 140 lbs., largest 23J lbs. 3. 
43J ins. in length, 26 ins. in girth 

in length, 26 ins. in girth. 

River Wye, 43f lbs. male, 

p. 8. 


the air ; to set forth his Tackles according to the times and seasons to goe 
for his pleasure and some profit.' 

So says Master Barker is his Art of Angling, Tvritten in 1653. 
This tackle is the rod, Une and flies, leaders, — subjects, texts for a 
thousand books and serilions, and while it is taking coals to 
Newcastle or holding the candle up to the sun, to describe it 
to the reader, I may say that the line must be the best, Number 
2 or 3, plaited oiled silk salmon line obtainable. There should 
be thirty-five yards of this, and back of it a finer line perhaps to 
fill the reel, a ' back Me,' used on many large reels. The leader 
' trace,' the unspun silk of the silk- worm, should be round, clear 
and transparent, and from sixteen to eighteen inches long, 
double or single. If you wish to make the sport easy and depart 
from time-honoured usage, use an American multiplier ; but the 
typical ^English salmon reel should be employed, a plain click 
reel at least three and a half to four and a half inches, outside 
diameter, with a width of barrel of from one and a half to one and 
three-quarter inches. One should read, for the particulars of 
these details, the works of Mr. Cholmondeley PenneU, his Modern 
Practical Angler and The Sporting Fish of Great Britain ; the 
hook, a Pennell, O'Shaughnessey or Limerick. In my own 
experience the O'Shaughnessey is the best aU-round hook in fresh 
or salt water, but^ of course open to discussion. 

The rod is a most important factor, as an angler comes to 
love an old one and to appreciate its record and gallant deeds. 
My first suggestion would be to have the best and only the 
best of everything. A typical rod might to-day be eighteen 
feet in length, though I have seen and fished with one on the 
Tweed of nearly twenty-two feet. On the Eibble the rod I used 
was not over fifteen feet in length, and I found that with it, I 
could cast a fly from Lancashire into Yorkshire. In point of 
fact, with a five or six-ounce rod an angler can take a one hundred- 
pound fish. I have taken seventeen, and twenty-pound yellow- 
tails on my eight-ounce ten-foot split-cane trout rod, and could 


have landed a fifty pounder ; but it is too hard work. Major 
Traherne's rod was of greenheart, in three pieces, said by Dean 
Sage to be but sixteen feet in length. 

It is not my purpose to go into the minutiae of tackle. The 
angler should go to the best tackle men in England and America, 
and wiU be given the best advice. Always remember to buy a 
rod, greenheart or split cane, that balances well and bends from 
tip down equally and in proportion. There is the same something 
in foils. I have several that do not balance, while another fits 
the hand and ' feels ' right. This feeling right is an essential 
in a rod. The English streams are usually so small that the 
casting is done from the bank, as on the Tweed. I recall my 
first impressions of this delightful little river, about fifteen miles 
from Peebles or at the Edinburgh Salmon Club. I was charmed 
with its beauty, but confessedly amazed at its size. No name 
was more familiar since boyhood, and I knew the old angling 
song : 

' Tweed Fob Ever ! 


'Let ither anglers choose their ain. 

An' ither waters tak' the lead, 
0' Hielan' streams we covet nane, 

But gi'e to us the bonnie Tweed ! 
An' gi'e to us the cheerfu' bum 

That steals into its vaUey fair — 
The streamlets that at ilka turn 

Sae saftly meet an' mingle there. 


'The lanesome Tala and the Lyne, 

An' Manor wi' its mountain-riUs, 
An' Etterick whose waters twine 

Wi' Yarrow frae the Forest hills ; 
An' Gala too, and Teviot bright, 

An' mony a stream o' playfu' speed ; 
Their kindred valleys a' unite 
. Amang the braes o' bonnie Tweed. 



' There's no a hole aboon the Crook, 

Nor stane nor gurly swirl aneath. 
Nor drumlie liU, nor faery brook 

That daunders through the flow'ry heath, 
But ye may fin' a kittle troot, 

A' gleamin' ower we' stam and bead ; 
An' mony a sawmont sooms aboot 

Below the bields o' bonnie Tweed. 


' EVae Holylee to Clovenford, 

A chancier bit ye canna ha'e ; 
Sae gin ye tak' an angler's word, 

Ye'll through the whuns an' ower the brae, 
An' work awa wi' cunnin' hand 

Yer birzy heckles, black and reid ; 
The saft sough o' a slender wand 

Is meetest music for the Tweed ! 

' the Tweed ! the bonnie Tweed ! 
O' rivers it's the best ; 
Angle here, or angle there, 

Troots are sooming everyTvhere, 
Angle east or west.' 

'Thomas Tod Stoddart.' 

In some way I had pictured in my mind a large river, but 
here was a little stream, completely across which I think I could 
cast a fly. There was a gentle slope down to it, and its rippling 
waters ran smoothly and quietly along through one of the most 
beautiful parts of Scotland and a region of great historic interest. 
There was a well-worn path, along the edge, and from here I 
watched my friend Annan cast with the fine long rod of his 
fathers, and under his tutelage I crudely and clumsily cast my 
first salmon fly ; something to remember all one's life, a memory 
to file away in the confines of the imagination, to be taken out 
again and again. 

The salmon angler has many casts, the Spey among others, 



l)ut the overhead or hand is, doubtless, the average used. The 
fly is sent out over the water and drops thirty or forty feet, we 
will say, at an angle of forty-flve or fifty feet downstream. The 
current swings it down and around in the arc of a circle, the angler 
dropping the rod slightly, keeping, if possible, the Hne from 
bellying ; he anticipates a strike when it reaches the centre, and 
from now on until it is trailing parallel with the shore. If nothing 
occurs the angler casts again, moving on, and on, from pool to 
pool. Suddenly the strike comes ; the salmon hooks himself on 
the steady strain and goes into the air in a splendid leap, giving 
the angler the sensation that can not be described — a mild 
angling delirium known only to anglers with the artistic tempera- 
ment of the, athletic tjrpe. AU the tricks that fishes of aU seas 
are heir to this salmon tries. He leaps, he comes in, he rushes 
upstream and down ; he sulks and defies the angler and the gods, 
and at this time is pointed, head down, his powerful tail moving 
to and fro, exactly as I have seen a thirty-pound yeUowtail 
when I attempted to Uft him tail first, only fooling him by suddenly 
giving him all the hne. In from twenty minutes to a half 
hour the salmon comes to the net or gaff, his silver sides are 
gUstening in the sun. The achievement is accompUshed. 

* Nearly equal,' to quote Lord Gordon, on Whyte Melville, to a 

* fine run with the hounds,' though this is hardly a just compari- 
son. I have tried to compare my sensations as Master of Hounds 
of the Valley Hunt Club during a hard run after the lowland 
wolf and landing a salmon or some fine fish, but they are in a 
totally different class ; both joys complete, and perfect de- 
finitions of true sport. 

It is interesting to compare the methods of salmon fishing in 
England and America. In the latter the streams Uke the Eesti- 
gouche, Matapedia, Upsalquitch, l^episiquit are often so large 
that the fishing is done from canoes manipulated by Indians or 
white guides, the angler playing the salmon and going ashore on 
some convenient ledge to land him. In England the fishing is 
mostly from the shore, or from the river when wading — ^the 


Pig. 2. Salmon Angling in Wales. The Wye. 

1. Colonel Robertson Casting for Salmon in the Rapids at Glanrhos, Wales. 2. Gerald 
Graham Clarke in the Rapids of the Wye — L. J. Graham Clarke Watching — Glanrhos. p. 12. 


ideal condition. Some of the stories one hears in England re- 
garding fighting salmon recall my tuna fishing, when to be towed 
about for eight or ten miles, aU the time fighting the fish, was a 
part of the game. An Irish angler is said by Conch in his 
Fishes in the British Isles, to have hooked a salmon that took him 
three miles downstream in five hours, when, exhausted, he handed 
the rod to a friend who kept up the fight eight hours longer, during 
which the fish took him seven miles towards the sea, daylight 
finding the angler breaking down while the salmon apparently 
was as fresh as ever. The exhausted angler, in desperation, was 
induced to sell his chance to a gentleman for a pound banknote, 
and the fresh angler was taken four more miles downstream in 
the following nine hours, followed by a wondering and constantly 
increasing audience. At the end of twenty-two hours the rod 
broke at the reel and the giant swam out to sea. I have heard of 
a man being forced to swim half a nule downstream in an Ameri- 
can river, yet saving his fish, and volumes could be filled with 
marvellous stories of the salmon. 

I have touched upon that feature of sahnon fishing in England, 
Scotland and Ireland — the scenery. Elvers are delightful if only 
to walk down. The charming stretch of the Tees at Barnard 
Castle, referred to in Nicholas NicMeby, its grandeur and beauties 
in Westmorland, the Tweed, Eden, the Esk, Wye and others 
mentioned in the chapter on trout fishing in England. What can 
excel the delight and refined beauty of the Severn near Arley in 
Shropshire, the Derwent near Haddon Hall in Derbyshire, the 
Wye at Symond's Yat in Herts, or on the reach of Mr. Graham 
White at Ehadnor, Wales, a river I know my forebears fished prior 
to 1650. 

These noble, often exquisite streams were designed to aid 
in the development of a great nation. They are humanizing 
agencies in the attainment of culture and the higher esthetic 
qualities of mankind, and it is lamentable that in aH lands where 
this noble fish takes a fiy that laws can not be enforced to reduce 
nets to the minimum, to make it a crime to poUute a river. 



Salmo solar attains a large size. I shall never forget the 
models of this splendid fish I saw ia England. A fifty-seven and 
a half pounder has been taken. Mr. Cholmondeley Pennell 
gives the record to a female of eighty-three pounds. Penant 
refers to a seventy-four pounder. In 1789 a seventy pounder 
was taken in the Thames near Falham. An eighty pounder was 
netted in the Tay. The South Kensington Museum shows one of 
sixty-nine pounds from the Ehine. Fifty-one to fifty-four pound- 
ers have been taken in the Shannon. The Tay has produced 
fifty-three, fifty-one, and forty-nine and a half pound salmon, and 
the Wye a fifty-pound fish. On the Tweed a salmon was caught 
in 1886 in the Floors Castle water, by Mr. Pryor, Hylands Chelms- 
ford, weighing fifty-seven and a half pounds, fifty-three inches in 
length and twenty-eight and a half inches in girth. In the Fishing 
Gazette I find the following : 1870, Mr. Haggard, in the Tay, sixty- 
one pounds ; 1874, the Suir, Tipperary, fifty-seven pounds ; 1875, 
Derwent, fifty-five and a half pounds ; 1877, in the Awe, Mr. J. 
B. Lawes, fifty-four pounds ; 1884, in the Dee (Floors water), 
Mr. Pryor, fifty-seven and a haU pounds ; 1889, on the Mentoun, 
Lord Polworth's water, fifty-five pounds ; 1892, the Derwent, 
fifty-six pounds ; 1895, the Tay, Lord Zetland, fifty-five pounds, 
the Eden, fifty-five pounds. 

These splendid examples afford the reader some idea of the 
possibilities of this noble fish, the ideal game of the gentleman 

In every salmon stream there are ' casts ' or lies — ^places 
affected by salmon where they make a temporary home or abiding 
place. I have seen the same with trout, and it is an important 
feature of the art to know and understand all about these places. 
A friend who, it happened, was on a hill over such a pool in 
Canada, saw four salmon poisiag low, side by side. A twig came 
downstream. One salmon rose, seized it and carried it down- 
stream, releasing it, then wheeling round took its exact place. 
This was repeated several times. I have seen a rainbow trout 
that seemingly had riparian and exasperating rights, behind 


a certain stone in Feather Eiver, California. I saw it there every 
day for weeks, bnt it ignored me and all my inventions. 

Among the quaint old customs that have come down to the 
present day is sahnon Sunday on Paythorne bridge, on the 
Eibble, which I crossed in 1910. The bridge is about ten miles 
above Gisburn. It is an old custom for the inhabitants of the 
surrounding country to go to this bridge on a certaia Sunday 
(about November 20) and spend the day there watching the last 
run of the salmon under the bridge. Thousands of people take 
part iu this queer pilgrimage, to the dehght of the inhabitants 
and the joy of the keeper of the neighbouring inn. 

One of the most inspiriting sights in England is the parti- 
cipation in the sport of angling by ladies. There is nothing more 
inspiriting and health-giving for women than casting a fly or sea 
angling with rod and reel. A fascinating account of an English 
salmon stream and the enjoyment of the sport is given by Mr. 
E. B. Marston in the Gazette of December 7, 1912. The lady 
anglers referred to are Lady Bernard Gordon-Lennox, Lady 
Evelyn Cotterell, Lady Amy Gordon-Lennox, Miss Ivy Gordon- 
Lennox, the Countess Percy n6e Lady Helen Gordon-Lennox. 
Mr. Marston says : 

' Of all the British waters there is none that has no much of the 
character of a Norwegian salmon river as the Spey in the last seven miles 
of its course. Between Orton and the tide there is a fall of one hundred and 
sixty feet, down which the river sweeps between huge banks of shifting 
shingle with a force that adds greatly to the natural power of a sahnon 
when hooked. In this part of the river there is hardly anything that 
can be termed a pool ; nothing but a succession of swift, rough streams 
with a little comparatively slack water along the sides and at the tails. 
A fair proportion of the cast may be fished from the bank or by wading 
deep-waist high ; and to accomplish this in a heavy stream over a bottom 
covered with shppery, rounded stones requires some strength both of 
body and nerve. 

' Such beiag the character of the Grordon Castle water, it would seem 
at first sight most unsuitable for lady anglers ; nevertheless they do much 
execution therein. Where wading moderately deep suffices, they are on 
equal terms with the men ; in places where the fish lie far out they are 



accommodated with boats, which the Duke and his male guests only use 
for crossing the river. 

' Aad this brings to mind one of the most commendable features in 
the management of this part of the Spey. Neither in spring, summer or 
autumn does the Duke aUow the use of any lure except the fly. The 
sport obtained during February and the spring months in the water 
from Fochabers Bridge upwards is suificient refutation of the evil 
doctrine that sahnon wiU not readily take the fly in snow water and cold 
weather. These conditions can be and are satisfactorily met by the use 
of large flies ; and who wiU challenge the supremacy of fly-fishing over 
every other branch of the craft, provided that it is equally effective in its 
results ? 

' The five [ladies are all mistresses of the mystery of anghng. They 
can not only send out a good line in a nor'easter, but they have complete 
command over their equipment, and none of them is hkely to be involved 
in the disaster which besets many a neophyte, who, having hooked a 
strong fish, either forgets, or lacks the power of back and arm, to keep up 
the point, and, allowing rod and line to be ptdled into a horizontal position, 
encounters the inevitable fracture. 

' Spey salmon are a noble race, numerous and steadily increasing, 
owing to a timely reduction of netting, which is now restricted to the water 
below Fochabea-s Bridge. The spring run used generally to be accounted 
to consist of small fish ; but of late there has been an increase in the aver- 
age weight. One day last February, two anglers, fishing opposite sides 
of AUtdearg, hooked fish simultaneously. One called across the river 
to the other that he would bet half-a-crown his fish was the heavier. He 
lost his wager by a matter of eight ounces, the two fish weighing re- 
spectively eighteen and eighteen and a half pounds. 

' The Grordon Castle water, being so rough and rapid, fishes well 
even after prolonged drought. Indeed, in dry seasons, the display of 
salmon in the lower pools is sometimes amazing after the nets are removed 
at the end of August. A singular chance befell one of the ladies. She 
was being rowed across the river when a twelve-pound salmon, fresh from 
the sea, sprang out of the water into her lap. That fish never returned 
to harry the herrings in the North Sea ! A ciuious thing about the Spey 
is that in some parts it looks so quiet, due to the fact that its surface 
where you fish is usually a hurrying, dancing stream, unbroken by rocks 
showing, and giving httle indication of the wilderness of small rocks of 
all shapes and sizes which strew its bed. I shall never forget fishing in 
one of the pools on the AmdiUy House water when the river was just 
rising the least bit, and getting my right foot jammed against a rock in a 
strained position. The stream was too strong to push back against it 
unless I could get my foot free. I went on casting my fly and hooked 


Fig. 5. 
Miller, who caught the 43J-Pound Salmon. 

(Photo by W. MoUison). p. 16. 


a good salmon, but the strain was getting exhaustiag. I was simply 
obliged to let the fish take out line, or he would have puUed me over, and 
some seventy or eighty yards below the fly came away. As I was winding 
in I felt my foot slip as though some gravel had moved from under it, and. 
to my great reUef I could move it, and so get a firm footing, and gradually 
push backwards until I could wade out.' 

Among ladies who distingmsli themselves on England's 
salmon rlTers are the Duchess of Eoxbnrghe, whose record for 
the year 1912 was thirty-five fish in the short autumn season. 
Thirteen salmon were Mlled in two days, the largest being a thirty- 
two pounder, and the average eighteen and one-third pounds. 
Lady Nina Balfour killed a thirty-two pound salmon, and, accord- 
ing to the Gazette, ' seldom had a blank on any of the thirty- 
nine autumn angling days in Mentoun, wMle her guest. Lady 
Bernard Gordon-Lennox, who in 1911 vanquished a forty 
pounder in the Spey, had with the single hooks used on that fast- 
flowing river eighteen salmon in five November days.' 



'Very pleasant and jolly after mid- April.' 


IFEAE that angling in England has too many digressions 
for me. When I walked down the slope from Albnrgh Hall 
■one fair day on my way to try a cast at the grayling in the Ure, 
my host remarked, ' We are walking down an old Eoman road, 
a.nd the ford the Eomans crossed is where yon can begin to 

It may seem inconceivable, bnt I lost sight of the grayling 
and the attractive river that flows near Eipon and Ponntains 
Abbey through one of the most beautiful and interesting parts 
of England. I can imagine nothing more attractive than this 
little grayling river near where I followed it at Eipon, one of the 
finest old cathedral towns in England, where the ' Wakeman's 
iorn' is still heard at eight o'clock. I saw it gleaming through 
the arbours of verdure with their autumnal tints — a kaleidoscope 
of colour. I saw it ia the open, and I left it to follow down its 
little tributary, the SkeU, on which I found one of the most charm- 
ing of all ruins in England, or any land, the abbey church of 

I fear I forgot aU about grayhng as I wandered among the 
splendid ruins, the real history of England, but I came to myself 
a while later when I reached Studley Eoyal, the seat of the Mar- 
quis of Eipon, and saw the Ure, or one of its branches, murmur- 
ing along through a veritable paradise of woodland and lawns. 
As I stood on the rich green banks, bands of trout, and here and 


there a grayling, poised in the clear, limpid stream, or moved 
in alarm as my shadow fell across the waters. 

I have seen and crossed a number of rivers in England contain- 
ing trout, grayling, or both — the Swale, Tees, Mdd, Wharfe, 
Aire, Calder, Derwent — aU a part of the system of the lire, all 
going to make the Ouse of the Humber, but the Ure is the only 
one I have really fished for grayling, and it seemed to me the 
most dehcious little river that one could imagine in dreams, some- 
thing to fall in love with, and to chasten with a strong affection. 
Here I found a perfect demonstration of my own, but not original 
theory of what constitutes angling ; not fishing alone, but all the 
beauty and joys of beneficent l!fature that fell to my lot. So in 
anghng on the Ure, i£ I had never seen a grayling or a trout I 
should have esteemed myself the luckiest of anglers. 

The Ure is essentially a Yorkshire river, and if you chmb to 
nearly half a mile near Shunner Fell in the wild regions between 
Westmorland and York, you may find the head- waters of the 
little river that rolls on, laughing, ripphng to the sea. On its 
way it picks up the Eibble, Beck, Hardraw Beck and Gayle Beck 
above Hawes, and below many more. You may find grayling 
almost anywhere, at Hawes, Bainbridge, Aysgarth, Eedmire, 
Wensley, and Masham, near which I recall some fine pheasant 
shooting, Wensley and others. In nearly all these places are 
angling clubs, as the Eipon Angling Club, the Askrigg Club and 
the Wensleydale AngUng Association. 

The grayling is one of the most esthetic of fishes ; a first 
cousin of the clan of trouts, he looks like a herring at first glance, 
but has a highly coloured dorsal fin suggestive of that of the 
great sailfish of Madagascar. Jordan says, ' A very noble game 
fish, characteristic of sub-Arctic streams,' St. Ambroise, the 
Bishop of Milan, termed it the ' flower of fishes,' and poets have 
written of it from early days. The Canadian Arctic grayling 
{Thymallus signifer) was discovered by an Englishman on the 
Sir John Frankhn Expedition of 1819, and was named by Sir 
John Eichardson, who thus writes of it : 



' This beautiful fish abounds in the rooky streams that flow through 
the primitive country lying north of the sixty-second parallel between 
Mackenzie's River and the Welcome. Its highly appropriate Esquimaux 
name " Hewlook-Powak," denoting '' wing-hke," aUudes to its magnifi- 
cent dorsal, and it was in reference to the same feature that I bestowed 
upon it the specific appellation of signifer, or the " standard-bearer,'* 
intending also to advert to the rank of my companion, Captain Back, 
then a midshipman, who took the first specimen that we saw with the 
artificial fly. It is found only in clear waters, and seems to delight in the 
most rapid parts of the mountain streams.' 

Izaak Walton knew the grayUng and speaks of Mm lovingly : 
' And some think he feeds on water-thyme for he smells of it 
when first taken out of the water ; and they jnay think so with as 
good reason as we do that the smelts smell like "violets at their 
being caught ; which I think is a truth.' Un umile chevalier y 
the French call him, and an old legend teUs that the grayling fed 
upon gold. Walton tells us (and what better authority ?) 
that ' many have been caught out of their famous river of Loire, 
out of whose bellies grains of gold have often been taken.' In 
describing the grayling be says succinctly : ' Very pleasant and 
joUy after mid- April.' Cotton calls the grayling, ' one of the 
deadest-bearted fishes ia the World, and the bigger he is the more 
easily taken.' But Walton says be is ' very gamesome at the fly, 
and much simpler, and therefore bolder, than the trout, for he 
will rise twenty times at a fly, if you miss him, and yet rise agata.' 
Another great English angler and author, E. B. Marston, comes 
to the rescue of the grayling as follows : 

' Note. — Since I wrote this chapter, in which Cotton's remark about 
the grayling being a dead-hearted flsh is referred to, I took a friend, a 
salmon and trout-angler, who had never caught a grayling, to the Test. 
His first fish was one of two pounds, which fought so well and so stubbornly 
that, when I turned every now and then from my fishing to watch his 
bending rod, I thought he would have no reason to call a grayling dead- 
hearted. Later on, among a few brace of good fish I kiUed, was one of 
two and a half pounds, which fought splendidly, compelling me to follow 
him forty yards downstream and, for a time, spoil one of the best bits of 
water fishable in a wild November north-easter. I was so warm from the 


1. Stalking, 
the Grayling. 

Fig. 6. Grayling Angling in England. 
2. Good Luck on the Beautiful River Wharfe, in Yorkshire. 

Photo by W. Carter Piatt. 

3. Netting 
p. 20. 


exertion of fishing and playing fish in such a gale, that I did not think of 
the weather tiU I noticed the blue nose of my friend the keeper, who was 
carrying my net : he shivered so that I sent him home.' 

So much for the little grayling that by many authorities and 
wise men takes its place among the game fishes of the world. His 
natural range we have seen is the Arctic and sub-Arctic streams, 
and so he has wandered, and been carried far a-stream until many 
lands and rivers claim the flower of fishes. There is but one 
genus, ThymaUus, so called because the fish has the odour of 
thyme, but there are five well-known species in. different lands, 
three of which belong to America. 

The Arctic form, already referred to, attains a length of 
eighteen inches, and is a most desirable game with a very light 
rod. Another, the Michigan grayling, was first brought to the 
attention of the world of anglers and science by the Dean of 
American anglers, Charles HaUock, who told me the story years 
ago. He sent a specimen to Agassiz. This is T. tricolor. Its 
home is in the streams of Southern Michigan where it once 
reigned supreme. A town was named Grayling and became the 
centre of interest for anglers. A more attractive little fish can 
hardly be imagined, and to watch the sensitive and reaUy 
splendid dorsal rise and fall and fiash in its regal colours in the 
sunlight is, indeed, a privilege. 

The back bears a rich oUve hue ; the lower surface is a bluish 
white, while the fins seem to scintillate and glow in tints of pink, 
old rose, blue, flashes of scarlet and purplish-pink. The side 
fins are olive-brown tipped with blue ; the ventrals striped in 
brown and pink. The large powerful tail is deeply forked. Over 
all, like a sail, rises the splendid red dorsal, splashed or ocelated 
in red, blue and purple, each framed in emerald-green. 

In Montana is found a grayling that has been given the name 
of the territory. It lives in the streams which find their way into 
the Missouri Eiver above the Great Falls, Deep Eiver and 
streams of the Little Belt Mountains, the Gallatin, Jefferson, 



and Madison whose cool waters are peculiarly adapted to it. 
Elk Creek, a tributary to Eed Bock Lake, is a famous place for 
them, and in April they may be seen in great numbers passing 
up the Jefferson, according to Jordan, through Beaverhead and 
Eed Eock rivers to Eed Eock Lake, which they pass for fourteen 
nules, reaching the small streams which flow into it, there de- 
positing their eggs. Dr. James A. HenshaU, the distinguished 
authority on fishes, stands sponsor for this American grayUng. 
He has successfully accomplished its artificial propagation and 
considers it a fine game fish, the equal of the Brook or Eed- throat 
trout. These graylings readily take a smaU fiy from May until 
November, and range from ten to twenty inches in length and 
attain a weight of two pounds. 

' And in this river be Umbers, otherwise called graiUngs,' 
wrote Holinshed, in his Bescription of Britain, over three hun- 
dred years ago. 

The grayling, in all probability, finds its finest development 
in England, five pounders having been seen, though Dr. Day is 
authority for the story that a nine-pound fish was taken in 
Lapland some years ago. The species common in England and 
Europe in general, is T. tJiymallus. In the Ure I found it in 
very shallow water. It spawns in April and May in the imme- 
diate vicinity of its natural haunts. It has a wide range in 
Europe, as far south as Hungary, and is highly appreciated in 
Northern Italy and in Switzerland, where Gesner sounded its 
praises as a game fish. It is caught in Siberia and Eussia. In Eng- 
land the fish is widely distributed, especially in Hampshire streams 
where the dry fly is used. They do not lie at the surface, Uke 
trout, but haunt the bottom and dash upward, turn, and in a 
flash are at the bottom again, as I saw the brook trout in Lac 
Weber, Canada. 

Mr. Halford recommends for Test grayling, Wickham's 
Fancy, Eed Tag, Orange Bumble, Adjutant Blue, and the Duns 
on 000 hooks. The mouth of the grayling is very dehcate, and 
the fish deserves, and should have, the lightest and most delicate 



tackle. Criticism of the grayling is often heard ia England and 
America, the charge being that it decimates the trout, being an 
egg eater. This is more or less true, but it depends upon the 
trout. The Montana grayling and the cut-throat agree very well, 
but between the grayling and the red-spotted trout there ia 
war, and the result is fatal to the grayhng. In England it is. 
believed by many that the grayling is a menace to the German 
or Brown trout. Listen to the dulcet names of some English 
streams you may whip with delicate rod : the Wharfe, Swale,, 
Nidd, Tees, Eye, Derwent, Ouse, the Esk, Eden, North Tyne,, 
Till, Coquet and Dove. Here are some American streams ; 
Toxaway, Altamaha, Ogeechee, Ocmulgee, Savannah, Nanta- 
hala, Tugaloo. These are the Indian names of American laugh- 
ing waters in the Southern states. 

The Wharfe is a delightful little grayling river, which rises on 
the green slopes of Cam Fell. IS"ear Bolton Abbey and woods- 
there is grayling angling, tinted with so rich and sumptuous an 
historic flavour I am sure I never could hook a grayUng there ; 
it would be hke the Eibble. At every cast I saw CromweU, or 
George Fox, Bishop Laud, Sir Harry Vane, Pym, and all the 
crowned heads from Charles the First to James, who liberated 
my sixth great-grandfather from the Tower and sent him back to 
America with estates restored. In America the diversions or 
digressions are beautiful scenery, splendid mountains, but when 
historic lore is added at every foot one may be pardoned for 
missing the game altogether. 

At Pool, Arthington, CoUingham Bridge, Boston Spa, Tad- 
caster, UUeskelf, and Eyther there is more or less grayling- 
fishing, and so in the towns on the Mdd, as Cattal, where the 
Harrogate Angling Club holds forth, the Swale, Derwent and 
other streams mentioned in bewildering number, and all char- 
acteristic of the splendid reaches and perfect landscapes of Eng- 

I am indebted to Francis M. Walbran for the following inter- 
esting list of flies he has tried on Yorkshire rivers, which are 



especially commended for September and October : Bradshaw's 
Fancy, Walbran's Eed Tag, Bolt's Gem, Bolt's Sylph, Orange 
Bumble, Honey Dun, Bumble, Quill, Bodied Water. Hen, Green 
Insect, Green Aphis, Apple-green Dun, Silver Dun, Walbran's 
Pale Autumn Dun, Walbran's Dark Autumn Dun, Cooper's 
Fancy, and many more. \ 

The grayUng is an esthetic little fish, and to attempt to trap 
Mm virith anything but the lightest rod, hue and trace is a crime. 
Many a fish has been condemned unfairly, as the angler took the 
game -with a pseudo club rather than a rod. I have seen in- 
dividual tarpon, tuna, and yellowtail that were a disgrace to 
the term game. It is so with all fishes. There are exceptions 
to the rule, but the grand average of the graylings gives the 
sportsmanlike angler one of the finest and most beautiful of all 
the little fishes of the laughing waters, and my object has been, 
not so much to describe him scientifically, or to mention all the 
rivers in England he loves, but to impress hun, Uke thyme, upon 
the reader's attention, as hke rosemary, he is for remembrance, 
and ' Very pleasant and jolly after mid- April.' 




' The pleasantest angling is to see the fish cut with her golden oars the 
silver stream and greedily devour the treacherous bait.' 


I CAIN hardly explain to the layman (and to the angler it is 
unnecessary as he knows aU about it) the quality of my 
delight when I first saw the radiantly beautiful trout streams 
of England. Whether it was a sense of proprietorship, as my 
ancestors on aU sides fished these streams prior to 1656, or just 
mere appreciation, I cannot teU. I have no doubt that having a 
strong underlying appreciation for what England has done to 
civilLze the world, my inner consciousness had bridged the two and 
a half centuries since my Quaker ancestors left England for 
America, as missionaries. I am sure that aU. these forefathers 
at some time were anglers, as a man could not be human and 
resist the more than beautiful and alluring streams of England. 
I am going to believe that they were, and that some of them saw 
the Dove, and knew Walton and Juliana Berners, and all the 
rest of that little band of honest anglers who have added to 
the joy of living, by creating the purest and most delightful of 
outdoor sports — angling with a fly. 

Everything is old in England, and the ancient Britains, the 
Eomans, the early angling Saxons and many more races have 
known England, its trout, salmon and grayling in the past five 
or ten thousand years, and nowhere in the world has sport been 
so well conserved, so dignified and made so completely a part 
of the health of the race. 



He who first cast a fly in Englisli trout streams has left no 
trace, but that the Eomans fished here is well known, as they held 
the land for several centuries. I recall a day spent in an old 
Eoman camp near Blackburn with W. W. Stimson, Esq., where 
in an old well by the river Hodder had been found a marvellous 
collection of Eoman articles. 

Theocritus, so rich in fishing pastorals, wrote of angling 
two centuries before Christ and referred to flies, ' the bait fal- 
laceous suspended from the rod.' Three centuries after Christ 
AeUan described fly fishing among the Macedonians as tried in 
the Eiver Astracus. He refers to a bee-like insect and a ' fooled 
fish ' that rises and seizes it. Speaking of files, reminds me 
that the most aUuring spot I remember in connection with flies 
and fly tying is one of the upper floors of the Fly Fishers Club 
of London, where I fancy there is always a seat waiting for me. 
There is a wonderful little library on one floor, where you may 
see and read many angling works from the time of Walton down. 

The most interesting spot is the fly room, where a member, 
if seized with a feathery inspiration, may sit down at a table 
and find in drawers at hand, every feather for any fly known, 
from the Ibis to the Sflver Doctor. More, there is here a collec- 
tion of real insects from almost every stream in England, from 
which flies are shaped or have been made ; and the novice will 
be amazed to see how unhke, and like, artificial files are to the 
real thing, and to observe that they are not flies at aU. 

Just who invented fly fishing is not known, but that it is a 
very ancient art goes without saying, reaching far back into 
antiquity. Doubtless, the Eomans fished with a fiy in England 
ages ago, and the' men of the stone age before them. The Ameri- 
can Indian had never heard of the March Brown, or May-fiy, 
described by Juliana Berners, yet some of them fished their 
radiant streams with a fly. 

When fishing years ago near Big Meadows, California, on the 
Feather Eiver, I noticed here and there fluffy feathers of white 
dancing in the breeze over the water, and beneath a clump of 


willows. When I crossed the river to investigate, I found a strong 
willow pole fastened to a tree, on the end of it a smaU bnt strong 
Une to which was fastened a bunch of white feathers concealing 
a hook. This was a savage Eoyal Coachman, and I believe 
Feather Eiver was named from this custom, the taking auto- 
matically of big rainbow trout Hbeing an ancient one. The fly tying 
art was at one time in the hands of a few specialists, men of 
great individuality and invention, generally true lovers of sport 
in the open and nature. JS'ow, owing to the great demand for 
flies, they are manufactured by wholesale, large establishments 
turning them out, and cheaper ones imitating them, though as 
yet, flies are not made by machinery. 

Every angler has his favourite fly. Many years ago I fished 
the St. Lawrence Eiver for bass with Andrew Clerk, and his 
favourite fly was the St. Patrick, which I think he invented. 
I have always found it very alluring not only for eastern bass but 
for western trout, and one of the most beautiful of aU flies. 

I once found a fly maker in the Feather Eiver country. He 
fished all summer and made flies all winter while snowed in. I 
shall never forget the pleasure of my anticipation as I came 
down the road and read the sign on the little shop, as here I was 
to stop, and the fly maker was to ' break me in ' to that particular 
locality. It was the custom here when a large trout was taken 
to lay it on a piece of paper and mark the outlines ; then the fly 
maker would colour it, cut it out, and bearing the angler's name 
and the certificate, nail it on to the wall. The waU of this Uttle 
shop was well covered with mighty paper trout, a haU of pisca- 
torial fame, where hangs, or did hang, a certain seven pounder 
bearing my name, taken with a Eoyal Coachman in the month of 

Some of the most beautiful salmon flies I have ever seen 
were made by the son of the head-keeper at the Edinburgh 
Salmon Club on the Tweed. They were too beautiful to use, 
and I carried them around with me a long time. I remember 
taking them out once in a while to give them away, or to display 



them as one would an uncut gem. ' In this way, I disposed of a 
dozen or two St. Patricks and I fancy the Jack Scotts and Silver 
Doctors went the same way. There are several fine fly tiers in 
Ireland and many in England and Scotland of national reputation, 
while in America, Orvis is remembered with affection ; and there 
are several men who are more or less famous, not to speak of 
amateurs, as fly tying is an art if not an exact science. 

Of flies there are no end, and all anglers have large collections 
for one reason or another ; but the fact remains that a few flies 
seem to fill all the requirements. I have fished for days on 
the Feather in California and the WiUiamson in Oregon, one of 
the most beautiful trout streams in the world, and the most 
proMc with big trout, and used but three flies, the Eoyal 
Coachman, Kamloops and March Brown ; but there are times 
when the game is suspicious or arrogant, and then the angler 
tries one after another. 

What is more delightful than to listen to the theory of a dry 
fly enthusiast, and watch his system of changes. He is just 
being born in America, and Dr. Emlin Gill is the high priest, 
having written a volume on the subject. I have always been 
a psevdo dry fly fisherman by intuition — that is, I enjoy using a 
wet fly, dry fly fashion, flnding my greatest pleasure in casting 
with one fly at the target made by the rise of a trout and with- 
drawing the fly before it sinks. 

But I am wandering from the trout and beautiful trout streams 
of England. The chief charm of trout fishing lies in the environ- 
ment, and it is here that England shines, for her trout streams 
are a joy to the lover of angling the world over. 

Somehow, one is reminded of Turner when thinking of angling 
in England, and there rises in my mind his picture of ' The Brook.' 
I have spent much time angling in that little stream, com- 
fortably seated in the Tate gaUery, wondering if it widened out, 
and whether it was a trout or grayling stream where it was larger. 

I have mentioned in a previous chapter some of the streams 
of England, and to my mind they absolutely fiU the field of what 

Fig. 7. The Trout Streams of England. 

1. Spinning for Trout in Low, Clear Water. 

2. A Dry Fly Cast. (Note the rise). Photo by W. Carter Piatt. 

p. 28. 


should be best in a typical, ideal trout stream, possessing trans- 
cendent beauties to charm the senses and lure the angler from 
the mere killing. In nearly aU you may take trout ; but think 
of the vistas and landscapes of the poet and artist that are to be 
bagged on the Derwent, near Abraham's Tor, the Severn near 
Arley, Bridgenorth or Cam. What ineffable charm there is in 
the castellated effect of Haddon Hall as the Derwent ripples on 
in Derbyshire. Then the Wye, with which I have a speaking 
acquaintance, and know about from delightful correspond- 
ence with Mr. Graham Clarke, who lives on it ; and whether 
you see it in Breconshire, in the heart of a splendid rolling 
country, embosomed in verdure, or sweeping by fair Boss in 
Hertfordshire, where my friend Annan Uves ahd fishes, it 
is always the same — ^beautiful, appealing and strong in its 

The Wye, I fancy, is a wild river, despite its pastoral views ; 
that is, it belongs to the wild country, runs through regions given 
over to wild Ufe. It comes rippling on, is joined by the Marteg 
and Elan not far from Ehayader, and here becomes rushing, 
impetuous, a real river, famous for its salmon. Of all the rivers 
of England, it is probably the least defiled, and from near Eoss 
it is a noble stream, with torrential fiow that stamps it as one of, 
if not the finest river in England for the angler or lover of nature 
where grand and beautiful scenery are entwined with the best 
of salmon and trout fishing. 

What can be more charming than a sight of the Avon near 
SaUsbuxy, a pastoral scene, or the Wiley at Stapleton ; and what 
memories does the Itchen at St. Cross, Winchester, and St. 
Catherine's Hill, conjure up of ancient worthies, honest anglers 
and fervid love makers. The climax is reached in the Dove at 
Dovedale, Derbyshire, where it creeps, deep in the verdure 
between lofty cliffs, a veritable canon, and is lost in mysterious 
valleys far beyond, in the land of dreams and fancy. And there 
is the Eden, near Carlisle and the Eoman Wall, and as it flows 
near Lazenby in Cumberland, one is enamoured of the beauties 



of its sylvan glades and glens. Christoplier Nortli gives some 
idea of this in the following : 

' I'm wrapped up in my plaid, and lyin' a' my length on a bit green 
platform, fit for the fairies' feet, wi' a craig hangia' ower me a thousand 
feet high, yet bright and bahny a' the way up wi' flowers and briars, 
and broom and birks, and mosses maist beautiful to behold wi' halt-shut 
ee, and through aneath ane's arm guardin' the face frae the cloudless 
sunshine ; and perhaps a bit bonny butterfly is resting wi' faulded wings 
on a gowan, no a yard frae your cheek ; and noo waukening out o' a 
simmer dream, floats awa' in its wavering beauty, but, as if unwilling to 
leave its place of mid-day sleep, comin' back and back, and roun' and 
roun' on this side and that side, and etthn in its capricious happiness to 
fasten again on some brighter floweret, tiU the same breath o' wund that 
lifts up your hair sae refreshingly catches the airy voyager and wafts her 
away into some other nook of her ephemeral paradise.' 

It is an injustice to all these streams, these little rivers 
in the affections of some anglers, to mention one and not aU : 
the Avon, Hamoaze, Dart, Erme, Tamer, Tavy, Eve, Thames, 
Arun, Ouse, Bother, Trent, Wharfe, Mdd, Swale, Tees, Stom-, 
and so on indefinitely ; a region of delight to owner or angler 
whose luck leads him into their particular sphere of attractions. 
One cannot write of trout without thinking of Walton, who so 
happily combined angling, the song of milkmaids and philosophy. 
Walton presents a mUkwoman with a fish, who replies : ' God 
requite you, Sir, and we'U eat it cheerfuUy, and if you come this 
way a-flshing two months hence, a grace of God, I'll give you a 
syllabub of new vir juice, in a new made haycock for it.' 

Here are Walton's flies. He says to Venator : 

' You are to note, that there are twelve kind of artificial made flies, 
to angle with upon the top of the water. Note, by the way, that the fitest 
season of using these is in a blustering windy day, when the waters are 
so troubled that the natural fiy cannot be seen, or rest upon them. The 
first is the dun-fly, in March : the body is made of dun wool ; the wings, 
of the partridge's feathers. The second is another dun-fly : the body 
of black wool ; and the wings made of the black drake's feathers, and of 
the feathers under his tail. The third is the stone-fly, in April : the 
body is made of black wool ; made yellow tmder the wings and under the 
tail, and so made with wings of the drake. The fourth is the ruddy-fly, 


in the beginning of May : the body made of red wool, wrapt about with 
black silk ; and the feathers are the wings of the drake ; with the 
feathers of a red capon also, which hangs dangling on his sides next to the 
tail. The fifth is the yellow or greenish fly, in May Ukewise : the body 
made of yeUow wool ; and the wings made of the red cock's hackle or tail. 
The sixth is the black-fly, in May also : the body made of black wool, 
and lapt about with the herle of a peacock's tail ; the wings are made of 
the wings of a brown capon, with his blue feathers in his head. The 
seventh is the sad yellow-fly, in June : the body is made of black wool, 
with a yellow Hst of either side ; and the wings taken off the wings of a 
buzzard, bound with black braked hemp. The eighth is the moorish-fly, 
made, with the body, of duskish wool ; and the wings made of the blackish 
mail of the drake. The ninth is the tawny-fly, good imtil the middle of 
June : the body made of tawny wool ; the wings made contrary one 
against the other, made of the whitish mail of the wild drake. The tenth 
is the wasp-fly, in July : the body made of black wool, lapt about with 
yellow sUk ; the wings made of the feathers of the drake, or of the buzzard. 
The eleventh is the sheU-fly, good in mid-July : the body made of 
greenish wool, lapt about with the herle of a peacock's tail ; and the 
wings made of the wings of the buzzard. The twelfth is the dark drake- 
fly, good in August : the body made with black wool, lapt about with 
black silk ; his wings are made with the mail of the black drake, with a 
black head. Thus have you a jury of flies, likely to betray and condemn 
all the Trouts in the river.' 

Then Walton gives his friend the best instructions to be had : 
' First, let your rod be light, and very gentle.' 

The streams of England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland abound 
in trout of many kinds ; in fact, nearly all kinds of trout have 
been introduced with more or less success. An extraordinary 
number of names are applied to them, as in other countries. 
' John Bickerdyke ' catalogues them for the angler as (1), the 
chalk stream trout ; (2), the moorland or mountain trout, taken 
■with a wet or dry fly ; (3), the lake trout, found also in the Thames ; 
(4), the salmon trout. The chalk stream trout is the common 
Brown trout of Germany, Salmo fario, famous in the annals of 
the Test, Itchen, Wiley and Lambourn. 

Salmo fario is also the mountain trout of England, and he is 
found in the wild streams of the north of Scotland, the mountains 



of Ireland and Wales. So too does the 8almo fario loom up as 
the lake trout where he grows large and lusty, often a giant, 
especially large fish haTdng been taken in the Orkneys. A 
twenty-nine pounder is on record from Lough Derg, known as 
' Peppers trout.' Lough Ennel has produced a twenty-six 
pounder, but whether ' gUaroo ' or ' ferOx,' I know not. 

English sea trout afford great sport, ranging up to twenty 
pounds. The Thames trout is Salmo fario. When well fed and 
conditioned he is fat, big, often ponderous, and from the first 
of April to the thirty-first of August, the sport is excellent to 
the patient angler. Scientifically, the Brown trout is Salmo 
fario, and in Wales in the Ehymney there is a hybrid between 
Salmo trutta and Salmo fario. 

In England there is a representative of the American brook 
trout known as the charr, saibhng, sea charr, or ombre chevalier, 
and technically Salvelinus alpinus. The charr is a beautiful 
little fish, caUed torgoch in Wales. You can find it very generally 
in the lakes of the United Kingdom, particularly in Loch Doon 
in Argyleshire, Loch Achilty, Eoss-shire, Loch Knockie in Inver- 
ness-shire, the Taf, Dochart, Ericht and Fruchie. It rarely ex- 
ceeds a pound in weight, ranging from a half to two pounds, 
which suggests very light and gossamer-Mke tackle. 

Loch Leven trout are as well known in America as in Great 
Britain, and you may take an American Eainbow trout in the 
Dove if you are very lucky. In years to come, the trout family 
will be distributed over the world — a work almost accomplished, 

I can imagine no purer deKght than to wander along these 
beautiful streams of England, casting here and there with the 
daintiest of tackle, dropping a dry fly into the circle of radia- 
tions formed by the rising trout. ' John Bickerdyke ' says 
that as a game fish he prefer? the rainbow to the brown 
trout. The rainbow does best, that is, he attains greater weight 
in sluggish rivers, or where he does not have to keep continually 
in motion, as the Williamson, in Oregon, where sixteen, eighteen 
and twenty-pound fish are not uncommon. 

Fig. 8. 

Radiographs of Game Fishes (Trout). By Dr. B. F. Alden, San Francisco. 

Showing skeleton, air bladder, etc. (Radiographed by Jean B. Sabalot). p. 32. 


Some of the record brown trout in England are a sixteen 
pounder, caught at Chertsey Weir ; one at Shepperton Weir, 
Eiver Thames, a twenty-three and a half pounder, was caught 
with a spoon ; a twenty pounder has been taken in the Kennett 
in the nets of the Earl of Craven. 

Trout fishing in England has produced wet and dry fly fishing, 
around which is growing a literature of its own, and the en- 
thusiastic dry fly fisher has added to the joys of life, even if the 
point cannot always be seen. The most satisfactory catch I ever 
made was in Canada, where my canoeman raced at a rise, and I 
sent my fly thirty or forty feet and dropped it into the circle where 
it was taken at once by what proved to be a two and a half 
pound charr. This was the essence of dry fly fishing, but with a 
wet fiy, and I fancy I experienced all the joys of a dry fly angler. 

The methods of taking trout are, alas ! only too numerous 
everywhere ; but I believe that there sliould be but one, the fly, 
and but one fly. When the trout are not taking flies, when they 
absolutely refuse, a minnow should be used, their natural food 
in many countries. But it is not for me to lay down the law. 
I am only venturing to suggest gallant treatment for a gaUant 
fish ; and that to trap, or snare him with some of the awful 
hook-Uned * contraptions ' found in many lands, is Little less 
than a crime. It is well, however, to bear in mind that we cannot 
aU go a-fishing when the desire seizes us ; and that the man who 
has but a day a year, should possibly not be hampered by the 
ethics of conservation. 




'Angling is somewhat like poetry, men are to be born so.' 


THEEE are some deligMful old Englisli customs relating to 
tlie fishing rights of certain streams, which I heard one 
night at a banquet of the Fishmongers' Guild in honour of Lord 
Bversley, who has done so much for the fishing interests in Great 
Britain. One referred to certain rights at Oxford, and another 
to Loch Maben, where the inhabitants have an annual ' Vendace ' 
fishing day in the neighbouring lakes, taking advantage of a right 
to fish awarded them by James Vll. The vendace is not known 
in many places in Scotland, so I am told, being peculiar to the 
Lochs in Dumfriesshire, in Derwenter and the Bassenthwaite 
Lakes, having been brought from France by Mary, Queen of 
Scots, according to the legend. The vendace is not a game fish, 
living in the deeps of the lochs ; feeding, it is said, on certain algae 
which impart to it a deUcious flavour. This is but one of scores 
of old customs the angler meets in England, relating to manor 
and other rights, the privileges of certain streams, a subject, 
which I imagine, of itself would make a most interesting little book, 
as who would not like to join the people about Loch Maben on 
vendace day ? 

In stroUing up the Thames in England in the direction of 
Maidenhead, or along the Seine in Paris, the alien wonders what 


the hundreds of anglers are catching. Lord Granville Gordon 
says in the fine work on sports in Europe, edited by Mr. Aflalo, 
' It often makes me smile to watch the Thames anglers on a 
Sunday morning, sitting and watching hour after hour with a 
quill float thrown out some yards from the bank in hopes that 
a roach or perch may take a fancy to the worm on the hook.' 
So then, it is roach or perch these Sunday anglers are trying for, 
but if the truth was told, these scores of men are hoping for a big 
pike, or a big Brown trout of ten pounds, that Mr. Somebody 
of somewhere caught on a certain day in June in some year, no 
one knows when. 

If all anglers devoted themselves to the same fishes, they 
would soon be exhausted ; but we are proAdded with a catholicity 
of tastes, and it is well that scores of anglers like the perch and 
dace and carp, as they certainly have a restful time in the attempt 
to take them, and that is what anglers need. The majority of 
these Sunday anglers on the Thames, and the Seine and Ehine 
are doubtless hard-working people, who look forward to the day 
with unfeigned joy. They need perfect and complete change 
and rest, and what more restful occupation is there than angling, 
and that particular angling described by Lord Gordon ' sitting 
and watching hour after hour, ... a quill float thrown out some 
yards from the bank ' ? 

Some of the cleverest anglers in England, inventors of mysteri- 
ous and wonderful tackle, had their training on the Thames not 
far from London ; and I never think of it, but the story of Mr. 
R. B. Marston occurs to me. Two London working men wandered 
into that strange land, the country, and dropped into an inn 
to get a glass of something, this being the only sport with which 
they were familiar. 

' Why don't you go a-fishing ? ' asked the landlord. 

But they had never fished, so the kindly host loaned them 
his own rods and line with two wonderful balloon-shaped red 
and green floats, the kind I fished with as a child in New England. 
Eeaching the water, they baited the hooks and cast out. 



Both fell asleep, but after a while one awoke, and seeing^ the 
' float ' gone, aroused his companion in alarm. 

' Hey, BUI, what d'ye think that " bobber " cost 1 ' 

' I dunno,' replied his friend looking anxiously out over the 
waters for his own, ' Why ? ' 

' Why, the bloomin' thing 's sunk.' 

I do not mean to infer that it is too peaceful on the Thames, 
as one of the earliest pictures of my recollection was one by Leech 
in Punch, showing two happy and contemplative anglers standing 
in their punt and intently watching their ' float.' Behind them 
comes a long narrow boat rowed by two unconscious men, and 
just about to strike them amidships. I think this picture bore 
the legend ' Peace.' The essence of angling is peace and patience, 
and without it, the angler may as well give up, as an impatient 
angler is impossible. 

England has a large number of small game fishes in its lakes, 
rivers and streams that are included in the term coarse fish ; 
roughly, they include the pike, referred to elsewhere, the dace, 
rudd, roach, perch, barbel, chub, gudgeon, eel, and several 
more. An interesting fact is that these fishes have from the 
earliest times received the closest attention from anglers ; and 
an angling literature has been bidlt up about them and their 
methods of capture, worked out with an almost inconceivable 
minuteness of detail. This is most commendable, as I am a 
protagonist of the principle that man, at least in America, works 
too hard, plays not enough ; and that anything, no matter how 
trivial, that can be invented to force him out into the open air, 
bring him into close contact with rivers, flowers, trees, sky, is a 
distinct advantage, and fishing tackle and fishing methods do it. 

My experience with the rudd has been confined to sitting 
comfortably in the Fly Fishers Club of London, and with Messrs. 
Marston, Graham-Clarke, Coggshall, Dr. Sewell, Mr. Stern and 
others, admiring and wondering at the gigantic rudd on the walls 
of this famous Club. I had never seen a rudd j somehow it fascin- 
ated me, and I hope some day to take one. Walton thought but 


little of the rudd, but lie does pay his respects to the roach, a 
cousin, ia saying that ' the roach is accounted the water sheep 
for his simplicity or foolishness,' and as for the rudd, he thus 
flays him : — ' But there is a kind of bastard small roach, that 
breeds in ponds, with a very forked tail, and of a very small size, 
which some say is bred by the bream and right roach ; and some 
ponds are stored with these beyond belief; and knowing men 
that know the difference, call them ruds.' Cotton comes to the 
rescue of the roach and says, ' The roach makes an angler excellent 
sport, especially the roaches about London, where I think there 
be the best roach anglers.' AH this leads up to the oft-repeated 
angler's conclusion that an angler should refrain from criticising 
the methods and game of a locality until he knows aU about it, 
as the fish never thought of as game in one country may be the 
very acme of the sport in another. 

John Bickerdyke caUs roach fishing a fine art ; and the little 
fish, found almost anywhere in England, and represented by 
the rudd in Ireland, is a most attractive little creature, a ' coarse 
fish,' yet a gallant Eoman, one Leuciscus rutilus. It looks like 
our ' golden minnow ' or dace, common as bass bait in the St. 
Lawrence ; a cousin known as the chub is very evident in the 
Yellowstone Park. There is an attractive one in Japan, but none 
of them are so ponderous and aldermanic as the British roach 
with its scintillations of silver, its eyes, tail and fins flashing red, 
and its back a steely blue, often green, blending harmoniously 
into the molten sflver of its sides. 

This little fish soars up to three pounds in weight in favoured 
localities, and hooked on a two or three-ounce trout rod ought 
to make the rudd welkin ring. Well scoured gentles are the bait 
the roach is most enamoured with, and he is ' chummed ' up, to use 
an Americanism, with ' stewed wheat.' This attracts the bands 
of roaming roach and ensures a good catch. The art of roach 
fishing might be made into a volume ; there is ' legering ' for 
them, the ' Stewart tackle,' ' Punt fishing,' the ' leger float 
tackle,' ' Nottingham fishing,' a ' Ground baitiag,' and many more. 



There is roacli in winter and roach for the summer, roach in lakes, 
brooks, meres, ponds and canals. 

' I pray you sir, give me some observations and directions 
concerning the perch, for they say he is both a very good and a 
bold biting fish, and I would faine learne to fish for him.' — The 
Complete Angler. 

Cheek by jowl with the roach in English waters is this famUiar 
American fish, the yeUow perch, Perca fiuviatalis, often a nuisance 
in the St. Lawrence when black bass casting, but a fine little 
fish on a very light (two or three oimce) ten-foot split-cane rod ; 
and it has many admirers, being a table fish of the first class. 
I have taken four or five pounders, and in England, while a 
pound or two-pound fish is the average, certain giants, piscatorial 
Daniel Lamberts, are occasionally found, weighiag four or five 
pounds. The perch is a beautiful fish with a large, splendid and 
expressive dorsal, which he expands and lowers and talks with. 
It is not particular as to bait, but live minnows lure it invariably, 
and I have taken it in Canada, or on the St. Lawrence with a St. 
Patrick fly. There are scores of ways by which the clever anglers 
of England decoy the perch into the creel or boat, from legering 
to the float tackle, or paternosteriag to the plain hand-hue. 

In America, the perch is considered the finest pan fish, and it 
has a high commercial value. It can be taken at any time, with 
almost any bait, from skittering with a frog or minnow, to a fly 
or grasshopper ; but the best sport is obtained by taking it in 
deep, cold water twenty or thirty feet, with a very light rod, 
when the little fish wiU make a desperate fight for liberty, that is, 
desperate for a perch. Dr. Jordan refers to eight or nine pounders 
in European waters, and Thoreau writes, ' It is a true fish such as 
the angler loves to put in his basket or hang on the top of his 
wiUow twig on shady afternoons along the bank of streams.' 

' Perch, like the Tartar clans, in troops remove. 
And, urged by famine or by pleasure, rove ; 
But if one prisoner, as in war, you seize, 
You'U prosper, master of the camp with ease ; 


For, like the wicked, unalarmed they view 
Their fellows perish, and their path pursue.' 

I conceive the perch to be a game fish, as he has given so 
much pleasTire to thousands, men, women and children nearly 
aU over the civilized world. You can even find him as a fossil 
in Oeningen, and almost everywhere in Europe, Lapland and 
Siberia. It is an Alpine climber up to lakes four thousand feet 
in air in Switzerland, and is just as much at home in the brackish 
waters of the Caspian and Baltic seas, or the shallows of the Sea 
of Azof. In America, it ranges from Labrador to Georgia. It 
does not seem to fancy Scotland north of the Firth, or the country 
west of the Eocky Moimtains. Dr. Day has written exhaustively 
of the perch in England, and of the shoals found in the S'orfolk 

They spawn in the spring, but at different times in different 
waters. In America in May, or in the south, March or April. 
In England and Sweden in April and May. In France and Aus- 
tria, March to May. Frank Buckland states that a perch deposits 
one hundred and eighty thousand eggs. Lacepfede raises this to 
one million. Block gives it as twenty-eight thousand, and Abbot 
as eight thousand. The cheerful angler may take a general aver- 
age, and feel sure that the yellow perch is safe from extinction for 
aU time. 

The literature of the perch is interesting, particularly in 
England. The Saxons represented one of their gods standing 
on the back of a perch, ' emblematic of constancy in trial, and 
patience in adversity.' 

Drayton in his PolyolMon says : — 

' The perch with prickling fins against the pike prepared, 
As nature had thereon bestowed this stronger guard. 
His daintiness to keep.' 

AU the treatises on angling refer in detail to the perch. ' The 
perch with fins of Tyrian dye,' and J. P. Wheeldon, an EngUsh 
author, says : — ' A gloriously handsome fish, the perch, when in 



condition affords excellent sport, and is a deserved favourite with 
each and every fisherman, be he young or old.' It is the ' partridge 
of the waters ' according to Ausonius. 

' Nor wiU I pass thee over in silence, O Perch, the delicacy of 
the tables, worthy among river fish to be compared with sea 
fish ; thou alone art able to contend with the red mullets.' 
Venner in his Via Beeta ad Vitam Longam, 1650, tells us that the 
perch is the equal of the trout or pickerel, while Frank Buckland 
writes : ' Our friend, the perch, is one of the most beautiful fish 
which it has pleased Providence to place in our waters.' Lord 
Lytton has doubtless fished for perch, as he tells an interesting 
story about it in his My Novel. 

The barbel, Barbus vulgaris, evidently does not beUeve in 
Home Eule, nor has it any particular interest in the non-conform- 
ists. I judge this, as it is not known in Ireland or Scotland. 
Their stronghold is the Trent and Thames, where giants of eight, 
ten, twelve, fourteen pounds have been taken by delirious anglers. 
Mr. Jones of London, I believe, holds the record with a fourteen 
poxmder, taken from the lawn of the Swan Hotel, near Badcot 

The barbel is an attractive fish, moustached like a cavalier, 
with four barbules about its mouth. In India it is one of the 
great game fishes to which I have referred elsewhere, the mahseer. 

The species known as Barbus mosal in the highlands of India 
attains a length of six feet and affords wild sport to the adventurous 
angler who foUows him to the watery lair of his choice. ' A 
right good fish to angle for,' says ' John Bickerdyke.' It is also 
known as the chevin, chevender and the large-headed dace, or 
skeUy, Leuciscus cephalus. It is caught in very much the same 
way as all this group of coarse fish of England. It, too, avoids 
Ireland and the north of Scotland, and for some reason Devon, 
Cornwall and Norfolk. 

The chub is a most complacent and sociable fish, imitating 
its betters by taking a fly. The dace, daver, dort, is an at- 
tractive, graceful little fish, beloved by anglers and especially 

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Fig. 9. Angling in England. 
1. An Autumn Freshet. 2. Summer Angling (Photo by W. Carter Piatt). p. 40. 


by children in America, who fish for it and the sunflsh with pin 
hooks, or by heating the point of a needle and bending it into a 
point qnickly, obtaining a strong, smaU. hook of any kind, as I 
often did for very smaU game, especially sardines. A dace at a 
pound weight is an active fish, especially on a very light fly rod. 
With the dace comes the gudgeon (Gdbis) looking like a barbel, 
but with two barbules instead of four. It is very common in 
the Thames, taken after the fashion and forms successful for 
roach. John Bickerdyke's instructions for gudgeon angling 
might weU astound an American angler, as our methods must 
on occasion excite the mirth of British anglers. He says : ' The 
essentials are a punt, two rypecks, a rake the head of which 
contains four or five teeth and weighs from five pounds to ten 
pounds . . . some well scoured red worms and brandlings.' 
Tour American angler would hesitate at the ' pimt ' and stop 
short at the ' rake,' and if facetious, would suggest that it was to 
comb the hair of a mermaid ; but he would never suspect that 
it was to cleverly rake the bottom when the gudgeons stopped 
biting, to raise a cloud of mud, and give them a muUetean con- 
dition they adore, as they swim to it in search of food, and the 
sport goes merrily on. 

The gudgeon is a humble little fish with no suggestion of 
romance, but poets have, if not raved over him, not passed him 
by. Pope 

' 'Tis true, no turbots dignify my board, 
But gudgeons, flounders, what my Thames affords.' 

The carp is certainly a game fish in India, but in America 
even the big German carp of great weight is considered a nuisance. 
In England the carp is taken up to twenty-nine pounds, but the 
average is very much smaller. There are many other small fishes 
in English waters that are taken with rod, reel and hne and cleverly 
designed tackle ; which have their literature, their admirers, 
and most of them are referred to and described by the father of 
British angling, Walton. Such are the tench (Tenea), the bream 



(Abramis) of three kinds : Pomeranian, Golden and Silver bream. 
I am sorry to say I shall never take one, as I observe England's 
distinguished angling authority, Mr. Clark, says, ' the bream 
can hardly be taken except between two p.m., or three p.m., 
and a mortal's breakfast hour.' The bleak {Albumus), eels, 
minnows, loach, ruffe, the lamprey, eel, pout, blue roach, powan, 
gwyniad, shad and gramlng are others occasionally taken 
in the waters of the TJnited Kingdom. 

When angling for lamprey, it is well to remember that An- 
tonia, the wife of Drusus, owned a lamprey in whose gills she 
hung earrings, and it was Martial who wrote : 

' Angler would'st thou be guiltless ? then forbear. 
For these are sacred fishes that swim here, 
Who know their sovereign, and would lick his hand, 
Than which none's greater in the world's command, 
Nay more, they're names, and, when they called are. 
Do to their several owner's call repair.' 

I may add that I have an account of the most remarkable fish 
in the world, and the largest on record, the Eibbon fish (Begalecus) 
taken on the coast of Scotland, a ribbon of silver, with scarlet 
plumes a foot or more high. When such a beautiful fish visits 
a coast but once in a century, and is so rare that nearly every 
catch is on record somewhere, the angler has but little chance to 
try his skill and invention on it. But to show how lucky I am, 
I have had four of these fishes brought to me when I happened 
to be fishing at Santa Catahna in California. One six feet long 
was alive, and through the courtesy of the owner of the Zoological 
Station, I was allowed to have the fish photographed aUve, and 
in the water, through the glass of its tank, securing an excellent 
picture, the first known of the Uving fish. 

At Long Beach, California, a specimen about twenty-five 
feet long was found, washed in by the sea. As these lines are 
written, I have received the report from Santa Catalina, that a 
diver on a glass bottom boat saw a nine foot Begalecus in the kelp 


forest, plunged over, dived down and brought it up, apparently a 
tremendous fish story ; but a very easy matter as these fishes ap- 
pear to be helpless in shallow water, and are at a disadvantage 
when they climb the mountains of the sea and approach the shore. 
If the sea-serpent is ever chased to his lair and landed, I think he 
will be foimd to be a gigantic Begalecus, a band of silver, fifty 
or sixty feet long, three or four feet high, with a ' mane ' of 
splendid crimson plumes three or four feet taU. If the angling 
reader has sufficient curiosity to fish for this game, I have indicated 
the way and means : equipped with a diver's armour he can walk 
along the bottom of the sea, and hunt for the most beautiful fish 
in the world. 




' Oiir plenteous streams a varied race supply : 
The bright-eyed perch, with fins of Tjrrian dye ; 
The silver eel, in shining volumes roU'd ; 
The yeUow carp, in scales bedropt with gold ; 
Swift trouts, diversified with crimson stains. 
And pikes, the tyrants of the watery plains.' 

MY earliest interest ia the Pikes came, I tMnk, from an 
English friend, who told me that he had seen a large pike 
leap from the water and knock a young bird from an overhanging 
limb, and then complacently devour it. I have also read in 
certain veracious prints that a pike, or a big pickerel, seized a 
certain caK by the tail and slowly but surely dragged it into 
deep water ; but it did not state that the fifty-pound pickerel 
swallowed the one-hundred and fifty pound calf, though I am pre- 
pared for almost anything, having seen a deep-sea fish that had 
swallowed a victim a third larger than itself. And who has not 
observed the ' gentle reader ' swallow fish stories of huge and 
plethoric stature ? Be all this as it may, the pite or pickerel, has 
an open countenance and a mouth of only too generous pro- 
portions, so anything can be expected from it. 

Williamson, who wrote in 1750 A Pocket Compcmion for 
Gentleman Fishers, hsid a high opinion of the jack or pike. To 
illustrate its savage nature, he tells a story of one that dashed at 
a drinking mule, seized its Ups, and doubtless did its best to drag 
it in ; but the mule backed away and landed the pike. The author 
refers to this as a new way of angUng, and states that the owner 
of the mule became ' master of the Pike.' This author credits 


the pike with a ' wonderful natural Heat,' which enables it to 
eat and digest anything. The mule was a clever angler, but I 
cannot permit a British mule to defeat a Yankee cow which, I 
was told, took a big pickerel in Lake Superior by wading into 
the water and threshing her tail about, whereupon a large thirty- 
pound pickerel dashed at it, became entangled in its long hairs, 
and so frightened the cow that she turned and ran ashore, 
dragging the fish into the farmyard where it was received and eaten 
in triumph : not by the cow but by the cow's owner. I could 
teU how in Arkansas they fish for the pike by bending down a 
seventy-foot pine tree, the pickerel releasing it when it strikes, 
the tree tossing the fish half a mile into the back country. There 
are other experiences which I might give, but it is not weU to 
boast of one's country in a book to be published in Great Britain. 
I have always held a suspicion that certain pike or pickerel 
relish being caught. I fancy I obtained this impression, possibly 
a Ubel, from one fish which when hooked came at me and almost 
leaped into the boat. Yet the pike has some admirers. Beau- 
mont and Fletcher in that ancient work The Faithful Shepherdess, 
1611, writes : — 

' I will give thee for thy food no fish that useth in the mud, 
But trout and pike that love to swim, 
When the gravel from the brim 
Through the pure streams may be seen.' 

I have taken pickerel iu the St. Lawrence with a fly and 
have seen a number which made a gallant fight. 

The American pike has a wide range in North America, being 
found in lakes, streams and rivers, a voracious ravenous fish, 
pla3dng havoc with its betters and ready to take a big spoon 
and a mouthful of feathers on any and aU occasions. 

It ranges all over Northern Europe, England, Eussia, and 
probably in China and Siberia and south, at least as far as Con- 
stantinople, and is at its best in England and Germany. Especially 
in the latter, large and vigorous specimens have been taken, 
while certaia pike are supposed to attain great age. 



In America there are numerous species, and the smallest, 
about one foot in length, is found from the Allegheny moimtains 
east. This is Esox americomus. The grass-pike is a little larger 
and has a range in the United States in the Valley of the Missis- 
sippi, though in the upper and middle portions. In the eastern 
part of the continent is found the Eastern pickerel, E. reticularis^, 
a larger fish of two feet and a weight of several pounds. This 
is the common pike of the spoon, or caught skittering, and it 
wiU take almost anything. 

In the St. Lawrence and in nearly aU fresh-water streams or 
waters in the north of Europe, America or Asia, is found a large 
pike or pickerel B. lucius, that approximates a game fish. It is 
essentially a big game fish, attaining a [length of four feet and 
possibly fifty pounds. I have taken many of them, but never 
a fish over fifteen pounds, and the average was less than ten. One 
day when trolling in the deeper parts of the St. Lawrence for 
muscaUunge I lost aU my spoons, when my oarsman contributed 
a piece of his violent red shirt which proved an appealing lure to 
the tribe. 

It is an interesting fact that the pike is abhorred in certain 
waters. When you are fishing for salmon in the Wye as an ex- 
ample, or for muscallunge in the St. Lawrence. Yet if you are 
from a pike or pickerel coimtry it is interesting to meet them far 
from home, Lapland, Kamtchaka, Siberia, and if you climb the 
Tyrolean Lake of Halden, two-thirds of a mUe above the sea, 
there wUl be found a pike, yes, higher yet. A friend teUs me he 
caught one in Lake Eeschen in the Tyrol, nearly a mile in the air. 
If it so happens that there is nothing else to catch the pike becomes 
at once a game fish.' 

The lakes of Zurich, N"euch§,tel, Morat, Joux, the Black Lake 
in Fribourg abound in pike. 

Something about the pike attracted the ancients. He looked 
wise, crafty and philosophic ; half hidden in the weed, imitating 
it in colour, tint and marking. Lucullus, the gourmet of classic 
days, called the fish Lucius. 


' Lucius obscuras ulva caenoque lacunas, 
Obsidet : Hie nuUos mensarum ad usas, 
Fervet fumosis olido nidore popinis.' 

The French, who are said to have had a pike over two hundred 
years old, which wore earrings, and came to the ringing of a bell, 
called it ' Lus.' In Italy it is ' Luccio,' and it is very probable 
that when the Athenians spoke of I/ycus sixteen hundred years 
ago they referred to the pike, the WasserwoK of the Germans. 
The Eomans were masters of England several centuries. They 
left little impression on the people, but the pike was called 
' Luce,' as late as in the time of Chaucer. 

' Full many a fat partricke had he in mewe, 
And many a Breme and many a Luce in stewe.' 

In England the name became a symbol in heraldry, and here 
doubtless we get the name Lucy, Lucius and many more. Shake- 
speare refers in derision to the escutcheon of the Lucys, a fact which 
the Baconians seemed to have overlooked in their attempts to 
unseat the Bard of Avon by discovering that Lord Bacon, not 
William Shakespeare, hated the home and name of Lucy. 

In England's lakes, rivers and ponds, as well as in America 
or elsewhere, the pike, jack, pickerel, call binn what you wiU, 
is the Wasserwolf. He preys on any living thing from a duck- 
ling to a swallow, and from a mouse to a frog. Everything is 
game to this wolf of the pond that moves at night, hides in the 
watery sedges, sneaks upon his prey and devastates and terrorizes 
the world of the inland seas. I dare not venture on the size the 
pike attains. It appears to be mainly a question of food supply. 
Buckland said, ' From the days of Gesner down, more Ues, to put 
it in very plain language, have been told about the pike than 
any other fish in the world ; and the greater the improbability 
of the story, the more particularly is it sure to be quoted.' 

This of course refers to that time-honoured story of the pike 
of the Emperor Frederick 11 that was taken in 1497 in Hailprun, 
Suabia. It was nineteen feet in length, and was so heavy that a 



crowd of men bore it from the wrecked net. Close examination 
of the monster showed a brass ring fastened to its gills on which 
in ancient Greek was this : ' I am that fish that was first put into 
this lake by the hands of Emperor Frederick II on the 6th day 
of October 1230.' This illustrious pike was then two hundred 
and sixty years old. The taking of this fish, the means of making 
the Emperor known to history, was a crime against law and order. 
He should have been returned to the water where he would now 
be the proud Wasserwolf of Suabia and six hundred years or 
more of age. Frank Buckland, beloved by Americans as well as 
Englishmen, was more of a naturalist than angler. He lacked 
the imagination of the latter, and accepted nothing that did not 
' come under his own personal knowledge.' He has, however, 
left us some accurate records of pike : thirty-five pounds, forty- 
six and one-half inches ; seventy-two pounds, seven feet. Pen- 
nell refers to pike of one hundred and forty-five pounds, taken 
in Bregenty in 1862. The pike is a Uving lance, a freebooter 
and pirate, or anything you may call him, even a fresh- water 
shark ; but yet jack fishing is a sport and the fish is taken with a 
float, paternoster, or by spinning, legering and trolling in England. 
In America mainly by trolling, using a large spoon. 

Walton gives a chapter to the pike and says he is ' choicely 
good ; too good for any but anglers and honest men.' In his 
invaluable BooTc of the All-Round Bgler, John Bickerdyke gives 
the complete details of the methods of taking and propagating 
the pike and many interesting stories about this fish, which has, 
beyond peradventure, a strong personality. 

S"o matter what one's opinion in private or pubhc may be 
regarding the pike or pickerel, American or English, there is one 
member of the tribe above suspicion, a game fish of regal quahties 
and proportion. This is'the much-named muscallunge of America, 
Esox masquinongy. 

' Whence and what are you, monster grim and great ? 
Sometimes we think you are a " Syndicate," 


Fig. 10. 

Sea Angling at Scarborough. — Mr. R, B. Marston and Mrs. Marston. 
(Photo, Victor Hey, Scarborough). p. 48. 


For if our quaint cartoonists be but just, 

You have some features of the modem " Trust." 

A wide, ferocious and rapacious jaw, 

A vast, insatiate and expansive craw ; 

And, like the " Trust," your chief est aim and wish 

Was to combine in one all smaller fish, 

And aU the lesser fry succumbed to fate, 

Whom you determined to consolidate.' 


It is the king of the tribe ; savage, a veritable wolf, having- 
all the savagery of the jack or pike with aU the latter's faults 
eliminated. In a word, the fish is game in every sense of the 
word, a hard-fighting fish that never gives up until it is in the 
boat. Its home is in the great American lakes from which it 
wanders into the St. Lawrence and the lakes and tributary rivers 
of these lakes and streams. It attains a length of eight feet and 
a weight of over one hundred pounds in favourable localities and 
conditions,^but the average fish taken is, I believe, under twenty 
pounds, due possibly to the fact that the fish is eagerly sought' 
and followed by the fresh- water anglers who enjoy the big game 
of the sea. In appearance the muscaUunge resembles a large 
pickerel. Ifearer examination shows that there are differences,- 
but the principal one is the black spots or tiger-like markings- 
on the fish not found on the pickerel ; so there is no mistaking it. 
In the young, the spots are round and black ; as the fish attains 
maturity they coalesce and form bands or stripes. It has all. 
the variety of the pike and a hundred times its courage. It 
spawns in the spring, the female depositing about two hundred, 
and fifty thousand eggs, which hatch in fifteen days. 

I have had an unfortunate experience with these fish. I have 
followed them, day in and day out, with incredible patience^ 
but I have never landed but one, and that only of suflBcient size 
to enable me to say that I have taken a muscaUunge. When 
pressed as to its size (and there are persons who display this- 
obnoxious curiosity) I try to change the subject to tunas or almost 
anything ; but I have hooked several and have seen several 

4 49- 


taken, so have a sense of proprietorship. In my piirsTiit of the 
fish I used an eight- and ten-ounce rod, number E line, a multiply- 
ing reel and a large one-hook spoon (spinner). The small fish 
:fight like a pickerel, and I thought the fish I took was one until I 
saw its beautiful spots ; but the larger fish make a splendid play. 
T saw a muscallunge on a friend's line leap into the air and 
shake its jaws, make fine runs in long lines, diving into the deeps, 
swimming around, bearing off Mke a Mexican barracuda ; indeed 
the muscallunge recalls this fish or specimens I have taken. 
When hooked the boatman should puU for deep water, as, like 
the yellowtail, it will rush for the weed and break the Hne. The 
iish is a menace, due to its sharp teeth, and should be gaffed care- 
fully and killed quickly. They are often shot when gaffed, before 
being taken into the boat. 

There is a second species of muscallunge, Esox oMensis, 
found in the Ohio Basin and Lake Chautauqua, Mahoning Eiver, 
the Ohio Eiver, Evansville and Conneaut Lake. It is a fish of 
great value in commerce as well as in sport, and the State of Ifew 
Tork has propagated it with notable success. 

This species is taken with a spoon and a live minnow. The 
iormer method is very successful in September ; after this the live 
minnow is the most satisfactory bait. Stni another muscallunge is 
the Esox immaculatus, confined to Eagle Lake and various small 
bodies of water in the northern portions of the States of Wisconsin 
^nd Minnesota. It is easily recognized as it has no spots ; in 
their place are ' vague, dark cross shades.' 

I have seen an extraordinary-looking pike from a lake in 
■Canada. I have never visited it, merely passing it on the portage 
between two lakes, but one day I met two men with a string 
of the fish which I at first thought were muscallunge ; but they 
had an extraordinary green colour, literally as green as grass, 
but more metallic. The men told me they would bite as fast 
as the spinner was thrown out, and the fish were so large that 
they soon lost all their tackle. Taking these fishes affords in 
America a singular combination of sylvan scenes, delightful lakes 


and solitudes, out from the waters of wMcli wiU spring on the hook 
this lake wolf ; a devourer of trout, bass and every fish, to give 
the angler literally the play of his life, on rod, reel and line. 

Many anglers keep records of their catches, and the following 
is the muscallunge record of Mr. F. G. King, of Waterford, Pennsyl- 
vania, who fishes iq Lake Le Boeuf, Erie County of that State. 
T)ie record was originally published in the Field and Stream. 
This is interesting in showing the variety of bait, and that Uve 
bait and large bait leads. The angler calls his system of angling 
for this game fish ' plouting.' The boat is rowed slowly from 
fifty to sixty feet from the weeds, and the live bait slowly reeled 
in and by the bow of the boat. It would be interesting to use the 
Santa Catalina Tuna sled with this game. The boat or launch 
could be kept away, while the sled would tow the bait along the 
edge of the weed in which the game lies. 

Mr. King's record is as follows : — 

Catch of MuscAiiUNGE taken from Lake Le Boeuf, Wateefoed, 

Eeib Co., Pa. 









1900 . . . 







1901 . . . 







, — 

1902 . . . 








1903 . . . 








1904 . . . 








1905 . . . 








Up to Oct. 13, 

1906 . . . 








Catch each Month. 

1900 — June, 6 ; July, 17 ; August, 2 ; September, 12 ; October, 11 ; 
total, 48. 1901 — June, 15 ; July, 4 ; August, 8 ; September, 3 ; October, 
5 ; November, 4 ; total, 39. 1902— June, 6 ; July, 8 ; August, 9 ; 



September, 9 ; October, 8 ; November, 4 ; total, 44. 1903 — Jmie, 18 ; 
July, 22 ; August, 16 ; September, 8 ; October, 8 ; November, 1 ; total, 
73. 1904— June, 18 ; July, 21 ; August, 16 ; September, 12 ; October, 
12 ; November, 3 ; total, 82. 1905— June, 7 ; July, 8 ; August, 19 ; 
September, 10 ; October, 10 ; November, 2 ; December, 2 ; total, 58. 
1906— June, 30 ; July, 33, August, 13 ; September, 11 ; October 13, 6 ; 
total, 93. 

In the same waters with the pickerel is found the Wall-eye 
Pike {Stizostedion vitreum) representing the Pike Perches of the 
world. It frequents the great lakes of America and their con- 
fluents, and is sought for by anglers in the St. Lawrence (where 
I have taken it), in Lakes Cayuga, Seneca, Oneida, Chautauqua, 
of the State of New York, and many others farther to the south, 
as far, even, as Georgia. 

It is a frequenter of the bottom in deep clear waters, but 
wiU take a fly readily, and is a game fish of the highest rank 
when taken in foaming waters near falls or rapids. Black bass 
tackle is adapted to it, though very long rods are advocated by 
Dr. D. C. Estes, the authority, who made Lake Pepin, Minnesota, 
famous by his advocacy of this game fish whose name recalls 
the invective in Titus Andronicus, where Lucius vents his sarcasm 
on the Goth : — 

" Say waU-eyed slave, whither would'st thou convey 
This growing image of thy fiend-Uke face ? " 




' It is not every man who should go a-fishing, but there are many who 
would find this their true rest and recreation of body and mind. And having, 
either in boyhood or in later Ufe, learned by experience how pleasant it is to 
go a-flshing, you will find, as Peter found, that you are drawn to it whenever 
you are weary, impatient, or sad.' 

From / Oo A-Fishing, by W. C. Prime. 

ANY one who has had the pleasure of visiting the British Sea 
Anglers Society rooms in London and listened to the 
learned papers read and the scientific interest taken in the subject, 
wiU realize that this particular department of sport (Sea AngUng) 
is being conducted Tvith the same intelligence and earnestness 
that has characterized aU English pastimes, and given the British 
Empire the first place among nations as a great conservator and 
founder of manly sports. 

The British Sea Anglers Society has over five himdred hon- 
orary agents along its coast-hne who report to its head- 
quarters at Fetter Lane as to the exact conditions at any time, 
so that fisherman's luck has little to do with sea angling ; all 
that man and prescience can do to prepare the way for the angler 
has been done, and it but remains for him to land his game. 

The situation of England is peculiar and well adapted to 
produce a great race of men as well as fishes, and to thoroughly 
appreciate it, it is only necessary to follow its latitude, which 
impinges Labrador in Canada, across the North Atlantic in winter. 
By all rights we should find another Labrador where the British 
Isles lie, but, even in winter, here is something different. Instead 



of intense cold, it is, as a mle, the reverse, and in summer, instead 
of the stunted and woebegone verdure of the Labrador latitude, 
we find one of the garden spots of the world, unexcelled in its 
rare and radiant landscapes, the joy of Constable and Turner ; 
beautiful rivers and streams which have lured men and warriors 
for a thousand years. The reason for this is the Gulf Stream, 
which comes up the Atlantic coast from the Gulf of Mexico and 
beyond, flows offshore on the American coast, not influencing it 
materially, sweeping across the ocean and giving the British 
Islands sufficient warmth from the Tropics to assure them a 
climate more like that of South CaroKna and Georgia than what 
we might expect in the latitude of Labrador. This, naturally, 
has affected the fishes, and we find in England a much greater 
variety than in the same latitude in Canada, Eussia, or any country 
in the same latitude. 

I think the features piscatorial which most impress the 
stranger in England are the seriousness with which the people 
take their sports, the marvellous number of books on angling, 
which have been written from the time of Walton and Juliana 
Berners down to to-day, and lastly, the extraordinary attention 
to the details of tackle shown in the EngUsh books and the interest 
displayed in every feature of the sport. This is shown in the press 
devoted to angling. The journals I am familiar with have a 
large personal following or clientele, which discuss their wants, 
likes and dislikes in columns and pages. Then there are numer- 
ous firms devoted to tackle, bait, and this and that, to a much 
greater extent than in America. But it is in the detail of tackle 
that England shines particularly. As an illustration, I find 
in the fascinating and useful work of ' John Bickerdyke,' the 
Boole of the All-Bound Angler, what to me are amaziag descrip- 
tions of tackle of different kinds, which have been studied out 
with the greatest care, in fact, the maldng of which and putting 
it in practice is an exact science suggestive of the earnestness and 
thoroughness with which Englishmen conduct all their sports. 
If we go over the lists of books in the Fly Fishers Club, or the 


library of the British Museum, we find that there are literally- 
thousands of similar books of varying degrees of value, but nearly 
all foUowing out the altogether delightful pace set by Izaak Wal- 
ton in giving the details of the sport in extenso. 

After reading one of these books I turn to my simple fishing^ 
bag or box, and wonder at its simplicity, its utter lack of colour 
and imaginative values, and am filled with regret. I find no 
' bobs,' no ' snuggling tackle,' no appliances for ' clod fishing,' no 
' paternosters,' no ' gorge hooks,' no ' legering ' no ' paste,' and a 
thousand and one delightful things which are the objects of 
vital importance in the kit of the British sea angler. 

Instead, I have two lines, a# 9 for fish of fifty pounds and under^ 
a # 21 for the giants, a nine-ounce rod for the smaller fry, a sixteen- 
ounce rod for the tuna, etc., a few O'Shaughnessey hooks, with 
long or short piano wire leaders, possibly of two sizes, a sinker 
of two different sorts, a small and large reel, and that is all. In 
a word, the average American angler has not the fund of detail 
found in the British sea angler, and ' John Bickerdyke,' Mr. 
Minchin, or Mr. Aflalo, would, possibly, find it a difficult matter 
to write a book on American anghng and devote much space to 
tackle. Ifot that some Americans do not use many kinds, but 
the great majority do not, and here it seems to me that we have 
lost some of the esthetic charm of angling. I can explain perhaps 
by observing that America is yet young, lacks homogeneity in its 
sports. We have thousands of Greeks, Portuguese, Swedes^ 
Norwegians, Italians in our great ports, particularly in the south 
and on the Pacific coast, introducing their boats and methods, 
fishing as they did in their own country. 

Again England has bmlt up her anghng literature and methods 
through a thousand years of practice. It reminds me of my first 
impression of English towns and cities — they were finished and 
had accomphshed their end. So to an American particxdarly, 
the detail of the British angler, the literature of the art of anghng, 
the thousands of books on aU its phases, are dehghts, pure and 
simple, whether it is the book of Juliana Berners, or the Miseries 



of Angling, or.,th.e definition of the Angler in the Tropics, ' sitting 
in a Turkish bath holding a string.' 

The sea fishes of England taken with rod and reel are the 
■cod, conger, pollack, coal-fish, bass, mackerel, hake, haddock, 
halibut, plaice, whiting, pout, red gurnard, tope, Ung, sea trout, 
surmullet, skate, turbot, wrasse, and many more, a remarkable 
variety of hard-fighting fishes when the latitude of England is 
remembered ; a list that affords the finest sport, a sport that 
lias been worked out to its utmost detail, and reduced to a science 
and a fine art by the gentlemen anglers of the scores of clubs of 
England. For this reason, and the great variety of tackle used, 
I cannot go into detail, and can but refer the angler to the great 
leaders and students of British sea angling, ' John Bickerdyke,' 
Mr. Aflalo, and others, whose works teem with minute directions, 
all tested by the personal experience of the authors who are not 
only litterateurs, but experts and authorities. 

The distances are so small in England that good fishing is 
within reach of the residents of London at all times, as there is 
not a month in the year that the sea angler cannot find some- 
thing somewhere, while in 'Sew York rods are put away in 
October and not used until spring and summer, unleSfes one wishes 
to fish in, or through the ice, a doubtful and predatory under- 
taking anywhere. 

In a general way, good fishing is found aU around the British 
Islands, either offshore, in the bays, from the rocks, in the 
shallows, or in deep water. Ireland, particularly Ballycotton, 
has earned a reputation for big congers and skate, and these 
summer sports, as described at the British Sea Anglers Society 
meetings, tell the story of fishing along the Irish coast. Brighton, 
IS'ewhaven, Eastbourne, Hastings, Seaford have flat fish or 
whiting and pout, the latter on rocky bottom. At Eastbourne, 
Lowestoft and Littlehampton the game bass may be taken — 
■one of the finest sea fishes in any waters while, in estuaries and 
rivers one may take mullet. 

The deUghts of gray mullet angling have been dwelt on by 

Fig. 11. British Sea Anglers. 
Amanda S. Grain, Esq., and Edward Meadlock. Conger Eel, 7 ft. 4 ins., weight 66 lbs. p. 56. 


Mr. T. W. Gomm in a paper read before tlieB.S.A.S. Mr. Aflalo 
with some friends took at Margate seven fish which weighed 
about twenty pounds, one of which weighed three pounds ; 
while on another occasion Mr. Gonun and Mr. Francis Daunon 
took at Margate jetty thirty-three mullet, the best weighing 
eight pounds seven ounces. The mullet anglers use ten-foot 
hoUow cane rods and ground bait of bread paste. A silk line, a 
sMer floatj and clickless or silent Nottingham reel, with a 
Number 3 crystal hook completed the tackle. It only remains 
to be said that the mullet anglers were artists in that peculiar 

What fishes may be had every month in the year are as 
follows, for which I am indebted to the late Mr. WiUiam Hearder 
and Mr. Marston of the FisMng Gazette: 

January. — ^Atherine (smelt), tub, piper, red gurnard, mackerel, 
dory, skate, sharp-nosed ray, homeljra ray, sprat, anchovy, eel, ling, cod, 
whiting, haddock, pouting, coal-fish, and all shell-fish. 

February. — ^Atherine (smelt), sprat, anchovy, fing, whiting, pouting, 
dab, mackerel, eel, tub, piper, red gurnard, and aU sheU-fish. 

March. — ^Mackerel, pouting, conger, atherine (smelt), thomback, 
anchovy, sprat, dab, turbot, briU, and aU. sheU-fish. 

A'pril. — Scad, mackerel, conger, eel, atherine (smelt), thomback, 
pouting, hake, briU, turbot, dab, and all shell-fish. 

May. — Sturgeon, dory, scad, mackerel, thomback, conger, eel, bass, 
surmullet, launce, poUack, hake, atherine (smelt), wrasses, turbot, brill. 

June. — Breams in general, wrasses in general, atherine (smelt), sturgeon, 
bass, surmullet, pUchard, thomback, poUack, hake, mackerel, dory, scad, 
eel, conger, launce, sole, plaice, turbot, briU, mary-sole, flounder, halibut. 
July. — Pilchard, herring, homelyn ray, sharp-nosed ray, skate, thom- 
back, launce, sturgeon, muUet, atherine (smelt), wrasses in general, 
breams in general, surmullet, bass, poUack, lythe, hake, mackerel, scad, 
dory, eel, conger, dab, briU, turbot, sole, mary-sole, halibut, plaice, floun- 

August. — Bass, surmullet, conger, eel, herring, anchovy, pilchard, 
poUack, hake, tub, piper, red gurnard, wrasses in general, breams in 
general, sharp-nosed ray, thomback, skate, homelyn ray, atherine (smelt), 
muUet, sole, flounder, plaice, dab, mary-sole, halibut, turbot, briU, dory, 
scad, launce. 

Septemher. — Sole, floimder, plaice, dab, mary-sole, haUbut, turbot, 



brill, conger eel, trout, launce, poUaok, coal-fish, lythe, hake, whiting, 
chad and breams in general, wrasses in general, bass, surmullet, mullet, 
atherine, scad, dory, tub, piper, red gurnard, sharp-nosed ray, skate, 
homelyn ray, sprat, herring, pilchard, twaite, shad, anchovy, and all shell- 

October. — Plaice, sole, fiounder, dab, halibut, turbot, briU, mary-sole, 
mackerel, dory, surmuUet, conger, wrasses generally, tub, piper, red 
gurnard, whiting, poUack, cod, haddock, coal-fish, hake, homelyn ray, 
launce, pilchard, sprat, herring, twaite, shad, anchovy, mullet, atherine 
(smelt), and aU sheU-fish. 

November. — Anchovy, twaite, shad, herring, sprat, pilchard, wrasses 
generally, tub, piper, red gurnard, sole, fiounder, dab, plaice, mary-sole, 
halibut, turbot, briU, dory, surmuUet, coal-fish, hake, whiting, cod, had- 
dock, pouting, Mng, atherine (smelt), skate, homelyn ray, sharp-nosed ray, 
and all sheU-fish. 

December. — Coal-fish, hake, Ung, cod, haddock, pouting, whitiag, tub, 
piper, red gurnard, eel, sprat, pilchard, anchovy, dory, mackerel, atherine 
(smelt), skate, homelyn ray, sharp-nosed ray, and aU sheU-fish. 

As in other localities, the best montlis for the sea angler are 
July, August, September and October. In July, pollack (which 
I have taken with a fly) and bass. In August, pout, gray mullet 
and bass. In September, bass, conger, chad and gurnard. 
In October, cod, codling and silver whiting. Mr. F. G. Aflalo 
gives every detail of sea angling in his excellent work. Sea 
Fishing on the English Coast, and I note he says, for rocky 
coasts use 'whiffling tackle,' paternoster, chopstick, sid-strap. 
When on sandy coasts, the tackle recommended is drift line, 
leger, trot, long line, throw-out-line, which again suggests to 
me the charm and mysteries of English tackle. To illustrate 
the difference, in several years' residence in Florida on the reef, 
a wonderful fishing ground, I used but three kinds of ' rigs.' 
One for bottom fishing, had a sinker on the end, and a foot above 
it, one or two hooks, a foot- apart. The philosophy of this was 
that the sinker lodged in the coral and held the line, and the bait 
swung clear where the fishes could see it. My other line was 
a cast-line, with a long light copper wire leader, a rod and reel 
to the line of which a sinker could be attached, if necessary, for 
trolling or dragging behind a boat. 


At Scarborough ( Yorks) the angler finds most excellent fishing 
for bass, conger, mackerel, codling and others. Also at Filey, 
Eamsgate, Deal, Dover an(J Hastings, Bexhill, Eastbourne. 
On the south coast we have Brighton, Shoreham, Littlehampton, 
Bognor, Selsea, Southampton, Bournemouth, Poole, Swanage ; in 
fact, at nearly all seaports there is some kind of fish or fishing, 
more or less good, according to the patience and enthusiasm, 
of the angler. 

In the present volume my object has been to present the 
fish, not particularly the fishing grounds, but it can be said 
that if the angler lays out the coast of Scotland, England, Ireland 
and Wales into sea angling districts, and changes his ground on 
every angling trip, he will have experienced some of the most 
interesting sea angling in the world of sport, and have visited 
some of the beautiful and picturesque regions in Europe. This 
is particularly true of the west coast of England — Hfracombe, 
Tenby (South Wales), Isle of Man, Eamsey, Douglas, Peel, not 
forgetting the Irish coast and Ballycotton, a place where good 
anglers go before they die, to fight gigantic skates and congers, 
two great sporting fishes, with the rod and reel. 

I have not the temerity to venture where anglers tread, and 
discuss British sea angling or the fishes, but I should fancy 
that the bass, Labrax lupus, stands as one of, if not the finest of 
small sea game fishes, and specimens I have seen impressed me 
that it is a fighting fish of the first water. ' The bass decidedly 
holds the highest place among those sea fishes which afford 
sport to the angler,' says ' John Bickerdyke,' so my American 
' guess ' (used by Shakespeare) was equal to the occasion. It 
is a fine fish, having something of the appearance or shape of the 
striped bass, or a monster yellow perch. 

The bass has a wide range in European waters and affords 
sport from England to the Tiber, and beyond, and has been 
known from the early times. Archistratus called the bass of 
Milet the ' offspring of the Gods,' and at Eome it was esteemed 
so highly that the young were called lanati (woolly), their meat 



was so pure and white. Columella tells us that Marcius 
Philippus taught the Eomans to take the bass as a fine 
game fish. Horace wrote of the bass, and in keen satire said 
to the ion vivants of his day, ' Whence is it that your palate can 
distinguish between the Tiberne basse and those taken at sea ? ' 
Aristotle praised this fish for its cunning. [It was difficult to 
capture, and both Ovid and Aelian must have observed its 
cleverness, as they refer to it as burrowing in the sand to evade 
the net. With this appreciation of the bass the Eomans must 
have been delighted when they landed in Britain to find that 
the finest game fish of these waters was their own bass of the 
Tiber, whose very name was given on account of its cunning. 

The average bass-taken by English anglers ranges from two 
to four pounds, and ten and twelve pounders are not uncommon. 
* John Bickerdyke ' mentions a twenty-seven pounder from 
Brixham. The yare more frequently found in south and south- 
western England, coming inshore ia May, the larger fish leaving 
in October. The expert bass fisher finds it in the surf, off the 
mouth of rivers, on sandy bars, off rocky points, showing that 
it is a versatile fish. One charm of the bass is, that it will take a 
fly. A volume could be written on it and its cousins in various 
parts of the world, everywhere a good hard fighting game fish. 

Mr. Aflalo is loud in his praise of the bass, and one can read 
his description of the catch he made one fair morning off Teign- 
mouth of a thirty inch eleven and a fourth-pound bass that 
fought a half hour before surrendering, and will heartily agree 
with him that this is the king of game fishes of England's sea- 
coast. Some of Mr. Aflalo's best bass weighed ten and one- 
quarter pounds, eight and one-half, six, five and one-quarter, 
four and one-half pounds. 

I had hoped to have some bass fishing at Teignmouth, par- 
ticularly when I was at Bristol, knowing of a good ground in the 
estuary of the Lyn where it reaches the Bristol Channel, the 
little town reminding one of Italy, but I was dissuaded by 
torrential rains. I was too late, buti 'stood on the highlands 


of Bristol and looked down on the beautiful water, and knew 
that my forebears in the seventeenth century, one of whom lies 
at Frenchay, not far away, must have caught bass on the coast 
in the time of Cromwell, 

The poUack is one of the finest of the British game fishes, 
making a good fight on the rod. I have taken them with a fly 
off the rocks on the ITew England coast, from five to seven 
pounds, using an eight-ounce rod and breaking many tips. They 
are caught off rocks in both countries, and in America, off, and 
in the mouth of rivers. In Scotland the saithe or coal-fish ranks 
high as a game fish with the Glasgow sea angler, and it wUl take 
a fly. 

The mackerel in EngUsh waters is fuU of fife and vigour, afford- 
ing the anglers with a light rod sport of a fine character. In 
America this fish is taken trolling (dragging the bait astern), 
but I have had my best and most satisfactory angling for them 
in California ; in chumming them up ; namely, throwing finely 
chopped bait overboard, and when they were all about the 
boat, casting for them with an eight-ounce rod and trout tackle, 
using a small spoon or white bait, or even a white rag. I have 
seen a school (sceole Anglo-Saxon) in the Atlantic at night that 
looked like an acre or more of fire on the water, due to the 
phosphorescence occasioned by the movements of thousands of 

The list of British fishes is a long one. The bream, chad, 
conger, whiting, pout, and many more afford most excellent 
sport if approached with tackle appropriate to the game. I 
have seen an angler in America catching a poUack with a tarpon 
rod and Kne, yet reviling the fish as a poor fighter when he should 
have used an eight-ounce trout rod. A peculiarity of the pollack, 
at least in America, is that it deteriorates at once when taken 
from the water. In a word, if you wish to eat poUack waste no 
time in cooking and serving it, and drink its health in chabUs. 

One of the most attractive of aU British fishes and rare every- 
where is the opha or kingfish {Lampris). One specimen has 



been caught with rod and reel in Californian waters, and a fine 
one adorns the walls of the Tuna Club. These fishes are so 
rare that nearly every one taken in the nineteenth century is 
recorded. It is a wandering pelagic fish, taken offshore. It 
attains a weight of two or three hundred pounds. The sword- 
fish {Xiphias) has been seen in British waters, but is not a 
regular visitor. 

Angling for small game is to be found in England between 
the Humber and the Tweed, whose beautiful reaches I know 
in the Peebles district. This comprises the shores of ISTorthumber- 
land, Durham and Yorkshire, including Holderness. Mr. Aflalo 
gives this region for all the year fishing the first place in the 
United Kingdom, and refers to the cod, codling, whiting, haddock, 
plaice and other fishes as abundant ; also to the fly fishing for 
billet and rock fishing for codling, the method of which he says, 
' closely approaches to salmon fishing.' At Scarborough the 
anglers fish with a fifteen-foot rod, with a reel seven inches in 
diameter. The town is a solace to the angler -frho has ill luck, 
as some anglers do. AU along the coast will be found a most 
interesting ground for sea angling, Eobin Hood Bay, Scalby 
Ness, Scarborough Pier, Cayton, Filey Brig, Castle Hill, Flam- 
borough, Bridlington, Danes Dyke, Saltburn, Staithes, and 
Whitby being favourite resorts fdr anglers who do not expect 
bass, big skates or conger. 

There is very good sea angling to be had at Valentia, accord- 
ing to the reports of Mr. Holcombe and Mr. F. A. S. Stern to the 
British Sea Anglers Society, and also to Mr. Mallet and Mr. 
Crisfield. I quote from Mr. Stern, as reported in the Fishing 
Gazette : 

' On Tuesday,' said Mr. Stem, ' in spite of wind and rain, we got out 
to the Coastguard patch and took 462 pounds odd of fish, including skate 
of 141 pounds and 58 pounds, conger, 25 pounds, 19 pounds, SJ pounds, 
and cod of 21 pounds, 17 pounds, 16 pounds, and 12 pounds. On Wednes- 
day, at the same ground, 405 pounds of fish, including a skate of 117 
pounds, conger, 22 pounds and 18 pounds, hng, 206 pounds, and six small 


dogs. On Thursday we got out to Reenadrolaun Point, found too much 
sea, so came back and anchored on the Bank in from eighteen to twenty- 
fathoms of water. I there captured, after much trouble, a skate of 125 
pounds, which disabled my winch and had to be hand-lined aboard, and 
fotu" weighing 63 pounds, five cod, 53f pounds, biggest gurnard and two 
pouting, 2 pounds ; total 408J pounds. Mr. Holcombe had eight cod, 
94J pounds, biggest 21 pounds, besides Ung, poUack, pouting, gurnard, 
conger, and bream, a toal of 188 pounds ; our day's total 696| pounds, 
not including three small dogs. It was certainly one of the best day's 
sport that I have ever spent upon the sea, and the most uncomfortable 
one ; the weather conditions were awful. 

' Our total take in the four days amounted to 1,605 pounds of fish, with 
fourteen certified specimens. We caught three skate exceeding 100 pounds, 
namely, 117 pounds, 125 pounds, and 141 poimds. Though the com- 
parison may not be quite fair, we two ordinary anglers caught 100 poimds 
more fish in one day, than were caught by about forty skilled men at 
Deal in perfect weather and under the most favourable conditions.' 

Possibly the most famous grounds of the British Sea Angling 
Society of London is BaUycotton, Ireland. Every year this 
influential society has a BaUycotton night. A great variety of 
fishes are taken here, but pollock, conger, halibut, and skate are 
the principal game fishes, and due to their size afford most 
excellent sport. In 1912 Mr. H. E. Burton took a one hundred 
and sixty-six-pound skate, Mr. F. D. Holcombe a one hundred 
and fifty-pounder, Mr. C. J. Crisfield a two hundred -pounder ; at 
Letterfrack, Mr. S. Bullock took a seventy-five pound halibut, 
Mr. A. Wignot a seventy-pounder ; Mr. E. V. Murmann a forty- 
five-pound conger at Valentia. For photographs for all of which 
I am indebted to Mr. F. D. Holcombe, who holds the record 
at BaUycotton for the second largest haUbut vTith rod and 
line, a one hundred and twenty three pounder. 




' Flat fish, with eyes distorted, square, ovoid, rhomboid long. 
Some cased in mail, some slippery-backed, the feeble and the strong ; 
Sedaned on poles, or dragged on hooks, or poured from tubs like water, 
Gasp side by side, together piled, in one promiscuous slaughter.' 


ESnEOKlMENT is an important factor in discussing, or 
even thinking of the game fishes. There are anglers 
who look Avith horror npon the shark, and smile in derision when 
this musky, big man-kUler is mentioned in the same class with 
trout, salmon, tuna or tarpon. 

It is a matter of location and condition, and I recognize the 
fact that of all men the writer on game fishes should hesitate 
to denoimee certain fishes as not game, merely because he has 
never had any experience with them. Thus I have lived in 
various countries where eels, and large ones, were common as 
the morays of Florida, the snake-Uke moray of Santa CataUna, 
a veritable sea serpent ; and there are others. One is distinctly 
impressed on my memory. My father was at the time an army 
oflBcer, surgeon of the garrison at Fort Monroe. It was just 
after the Civil War, and my mother's boudoir was a casemate, 
caUing to mind Beauchamp Tower in the Tower of London. The 
casemate had as a window a port for the ten-inch Columbiad, 
which had not been mounted as the place was used for officers' 
quarters, and looked into the wide moat. I sometimes fished 
from this point of vantage, and one day hooked a mighty eel, a 
dark-green fellow with yellow spots, and a mouth with the 
teeth of a shark and the capacity of a boa constrictor, I brought 

Fig. 12. British Sea Anglers. 

1. 43-Pound Conger taken at Valencia, Co. Kerry, Ireland, by F. V Murmann, British 
Sea Anglers' Association. 2. 150-Pound Skate taken at Ballycotton, Co. Cork, by F. D. 
Holcombe, British Sea Anglers' Association. 3. 73-Pound Halibut taken at Ballycotton. 
Co. Cork, by A. Mignot, British Sea Anglers' Association. p. 64. 


it in with great difficulty, and forgetting where I was, jerked 
it through the port almost into the negro maid's lap. The eel 
cleared that casemate as quick as would a shell with a smoking 

I had never heard of eels as game fish, but after listening to 
Mr. Holcombe's description, at the British Sea Anglers, of the 
congers caught at BaUycotton and other places in Great Britain, 
I found that I had overlooked a fish that made a hard fight. 

So it is with the mullet. I have Uved in Florida where the 
natives looked upon muUet as a special dispensation from an all- 
wise Providence. If a Conch or a negro, or a poor white, had 
a barrel of ' grits ' and a castnet for mullet, he was independent 
of any and aU earthly contingencies, as aU he had to do was to 
wade a little and cast a little, for muUets were like the sands of 
the sea. But as a game fish, I confess the mullet, a mud- 
grubber and stupid, never occurred to me. Yet I am convinced, 
after reading Aflalo, ' John Bickerdyke ' and other distinguished 
authorities, that I was wrong. In California, within a year, I 
have known of a mullet being taken with a fiy. 

It is the same with sharks. I imagine there are few anglers 
who have caught more sharks of all kinds than I, merely 
because I had an unusual opportunity. I lived on the Florida 
reef, where I fished for sport and in the interests of science, 
nearly every day for several years ; and we took to shark fishing, 
as the reader would go out with the hounds, or take an hour's spin 
with the single sculls for exercise. I fancy i£ my adventures along 
this line were collected and appropriately garnished, they would 
present a startling showing. 

But it never occurred to me to associate the shark with a 
game fish. It was like hippopotamus shooting ; but I am 
prepared to change my mind and accept some sharks as game, 
particularly the British tope, the Santa Catahna bonito shark, and 
the leaping shark of Texas; doubtless there are many more. 
Often while fishing off Port Aransas I would hook a shark, 
which in default of some better name, I called the tarpon shark. 

5 65 


I always hooked Mm while trolling for tarpon ; and I was usually 
deceived for a few seconds, as, if the shark was six feet long, 
he would go into the air in a leaping frenzy, so clever an imitation 
of the tarpon that it at first deceived me. I am not prepared 
to say that the aftermath, the play of this fish, was not satis- 
factory. If I had not known it was a shark, I would have 
been satisfied, but the taint of vermin was there. 

So with the bonito shark. I have played these fish of from 
four to ten feet, and a more determined fighter it would be 
difficult to find. When the game is about four feet long and 
goes into the air repeatedly and drops, to rush away, making 
the reel sing and scream, one is convinced that there is some 
balm in the shark Gilead. But I am mindful of the splendid 
term ' game fish.' When you see it, or hear it, it should not 
suggest sharks, but salmon, trout, kingfish, a fighter of the first 
value to man in its relation to his sustenance. So, I would 
place the salmon first and relegate the shark to another class, 
not to be despised, but to be developed and better understood. 
In fact, shark fishing is in a class by itself. 

For many years I was a devotee, especially when the game 
was big, and I have been towed many a mile by the man-eaters 
of the outer Florida reef. A thirteen- or fourteen-foot shark, if 
fought by one man in a small boat and a steerer, is a match for 
almost any man. I did most of my shark fishing in a light 
cedar boat made for this and other purposes, where a capsize 
was the only possibility, the boat could not sink. Under the 
bow-deck was an air-tight compartment, while aroimd the 
gunwale was a row of tin cans soldered up and decked in. In 
many a race have I been swamped by carrying sail in this boat in a 
half gale and a heavy sea. The latter would roll in on top of her, 
crossing the bar, but she never tipped over. I would let the 
main sheet go and my man and I would get overboard and balance 
her as well as possible, and bail her out with bail cans. She 
was so light that even when full of water, she would stand up 
with five or six men in her. With a boon companion, I woidd 


often fasten her to a bed of coral, and bait up the sharks on the 
edge of a blue channel. Then -with a big steel hook and chain, 
a line of strong but not large mamUa rope, we would take our 
choice of the sharks. The lure was a big grouper, and when a 
shark had taken it, he was hooked with a wrench that brought 
a response that would have jerked a man overboard had he 
held on. Nothing is quite hke the rush of a thousand-pound 
shark, and we stood awhile and watched the coil fly into the 
"air, the man in the stern turning the boat in the direction the 
shark was supposed to be going. Then when the end came, 
there was a quick grasp for it, a few seconds of terrific struggling 
to stay in, then the boat would get under way and the race was 

I had a little run-way for the line in the bow, a very im- 
portant feature in shark fishing, and the end of the line was 
fastened to the centre of a board, or sometimes to a tin can, 
which, t£ worst came to worst, we could throw over ; and I have 
often done this to save a capsize. The shock would, by a sudden 
jerk, tear the rope from the cutwater, get it over the side, until the 
water began to pour in, when we would toss the can over. This 
generally occurred a mile or two from the start, and as we knew 
half a dozen sharks were following the other, we took no chances. 

I was frequently towed by sharks so large that we never 
stopped them, or never saw them. The moment we held the 
Une or rope, they broke it. There is nothing quite Mke this 
rough and tumble game, iE one hkes that sort of sport, is young 
and full of fight. The fierce reaches, the violent efforts to get 
the boat around, the rushes to windward on the turns, the sudden 
slack away of the line as the shark came in, the moments of 
dire uncertainty as to which way it would start or go, the fever- 
ish anxiety as to whether he was really off were all delightful and 
strenuous. I could, as a rule, handle a fourteen-foot shark 
weighing eight hundred to a thousand pounds (estimated) after 
it had towed us a mile or more. At least by that time, we could, 
by working hard, pxdl the boat up over the fish and bring it up, 



foot by foot, until we reached the chain. Here was the dangra* 
point. All the work had been done at the bow ; now the line 
had to be transferred to the scull-hole at the stern, and the 
way we did it was this : my companion took the line or the slack, 
led it astern and placed it in the rowlock. I was now holding 
the shark by the chain, his head not two feet distant, and he was 
rolling over and over, doubling up, straightening out, beating the 
water and ever and anon lifting his ponderous tail into the air, 
striking out with deadly portent. In such a position, I have 
had a shark seize the cutwater of my boat and bury its teeth 
in it, hanging on, and wrench and try to shake it. It is a weird 
sight to look down into the mouth of a man-eater, with its thirteen 
or more rows of teeth packed away in layers, not two feet distant, 
the most of them, the outer ones, grinding away at the chain. 
When the shark rolled over on its back, by standing upright, I 
would throw the rope over, let go, and spring to the stern, my 
companion hauling in the Une as quickly as he could, often 
getting the big head almost to the surface at the stern before 
the shark knew what had happened. Then one would hold 
the line whUe the other took the oar, and try to tow the game in, 
generally impossible without help. 

I have fished for sharks off the beach when twenty or more 
men would take the Une, and with a shout run the unlucky game 
up the sands, even its remoras holding tp it. But this is not a 
fair game, not the ' square deal ' we hear so much about in 
America, and which appears to be the dominant note in Great 
Britain. The attempt to manage a big shark, as I have de- 
scribed, from a boat is unfair to the two men generally, as an 
eight or fifteen-hundred pound shark is a leviathan, and if he 
really knew his power could end the game at once. I once 
caught such a shark at Fort Jefferson, Florida ; and have told 
the story many times, as I never knew before of an attempt 
to tame a big man-eater. Two of us, and I was but a lad, caught 
and towed the shark for a mile or two, then a barge gave us a 
tow, and when we finally reached the island, twenty or more 


men took the line and dragged the big fish up an incline onto a 
little dam. Here I cut out the hook, and we pushed the monster, 
that had a mouth that would have taken me in, shoulders and 
aJl, into the moat or ditch that surrounded the fort. The shark 
lived several months, but it never was tamed in the accepted 
sense, though it would drag about boats, and submitted to 
several indignities of the kind, and with the dogged pertinacity 
of certain suffragettes I recall in England, refused all food, that 
we could see, though no ' pet ' ever had more attention or a 
better prison. 

There is a remarkable difference between the sharks I took 
on the Florida reef, from the St. Johns to Key West, and those 
of California. The warm hot water of the Tropics give them 
size and extraordinary bulk, and a fourteen-foot Gulf of Mexico 
shark was, in my experience, always in girth that of a large horse 
or similar size ; while in the waters of Santa CataUna the sharks 
are aU long and slender. A hammerhead of ten or twelve feet 
might not weigh over two or three hundred pounds. There is 
something repellent about the big shark, especially as you see 
him in the water ; and the sailor never allows one to escape 
if he can prevent it. Yet, I can recall the time, when living 
in a shark country, that we had absolutely no fear of them, 
swam the channels ad libitum, a feat that to-day I would not 
consider for a moment. In fact, with no special reason, I have 
developed, a mortal fear of sharks, a singular physiological 
feature, as I have often swam a channel that I not only knew 
abounded in sharks, but I could see their fins not one hundred 
feet away. 

The California hammerhead is a good hard fighter, when 
hungry apparently without fear, and will deliberately steal fish 
hanging from boats. For that matter I have seen a thirteen- 
foot Florida shark take a fish from my line just as I was Ufting 
it in ; and all persistent tarpon anglers can relate tales of big 
sharks which have followed the stricken tarpon to its death. To 
illustrate briefly the strength of a ten-foot CataJina hammer- 



head : I hooked one and played it for several hours, and it was 
only stopped when the sixth boat fastened on and pulled against 
it. This procession towed it an hour before we again reached 
land from where the shark had towed me and my companion in a 
one hundred and twenty-five pound skiff. I held on to the 
line during one of these rushes to see what the shark would do, 
there being several boats around topick me up, and in a down- 
ward rush, the shark almost pulled the skiff under water against 
its broad flat bottom. 

The largest shark found at Santa Catalina is the Bone shark, 
which attains a length of from thirty to fifty feet. This, of 
course, is harpoon game, and dangerous from its habit of strik- 
ing terrific side blows with its tafl. The Bay of Monterey is a 
famous locality for these big sharks. 

Many of the'dog-fishes, small sharks, are good game. I have 
seen scores of them in the surf on the CaUfornian coast at night, 
presenting a marvellous appearance, as they seemed to be fire- 
bodies in a fire, due to the wonderful phosphorescence here, 
winter or summer. Up to two or three hundred pounds nearly 
aU the CaUfornian sharks can be taken with the tuna or CataUna 
swordfish rod and line, and some really gigantic sharks have been 
mastered with the rod. When they are larger, a harpoon is 
desirable, and a sport of another adventurous kind is had. 

In English waters there are many small sharks and dog-fish, 
which are often a nuisance. When they are in numbers, the 
angler may as well change his tackle, add a wire trace or leader, 
and with rod of medium size fish for the vermin that has ruined 
the fishing. 

One could hardly include in the vermin the small jumping- 
shark, known in south-eastern England as the tope, without 
offending some sea anglers, as the tope has its followers and 
affords no little sport, especially in Heme Bay where some famous 
catches have been made, and tope up to sixty pounds taken 
with rod and reel. This in a general way might be construed 
into tuna or tarpon tackle, a sixteen-ounce rod with six hundred 


feet of a 24-lme, a 10/° O'Shaughnessey hook, piano-wire leader 
or trace. Mr. Brown describes the play of the Heme Bay tope 
as being very exciting. In one of his trips, a large tope leaped 
over the boat. An acquaintance of mine had a similar experience 
on the New England coast, only he was not playing the shark, 
which in this instance was six feet long. It was doubtless 
startled and jumped without knowing where it was going. The 
tope of Heme Bay average about forty pounds, and are between 
five and six feet long, about the size of a little striped tiger shark 
I have often taken in CataUna Harbour, CaUfornia, in the summer 
months. They averaged sixty pounds and we played them from 
the beach with nine or ten-ounce rods. As soon as they were 
hooked, they went into the air, due to the shallow water. A 
little larger shark, averaging eighty pounds, is common at 
Howland's Harbour at the island of San Clemente, a most lusty 
fighter, carrying off tackle and towing small boats about in a 
vigorous fashion. Tope angling is certainly to be commended 
as a sport. 




' " Salaam aleikoum Ya Effendi, Es salamak Ya Braheemo." And peace 
was with us all that night.' 

I Go A-fishing. — Prime. 

SO far as the natives of India are concerned, game fishes are 
practically unknown, but the officers in the British service 
have fully investigated the ichthyological resources of the empire, 
and have demonstrated that its finny life includes many fish 
which are game in every sense. Few regions on the globe can 
show so remarkable a variety of fishes as India. The waters, 
salt and fresh, fairly teem with them, and they constitute an 
important factor in the dietary of the native, who, if he is ignorant 
of the rod and reel, or the lance, has many original methods of 
taking the game, and as many peculiar ways of eating it from 
raw to ancient. Who does not know Nya-pi, the succulent 
relish of Burmah ? While the salt fish of Grdland^ are famous 
among Indian epicures. 

As in France and other countries, it has been difficult to 
educate the people and make them appreciate the value of 
game laws and rules for the protection of fishes, that the future 
may be cared for. The unlimited millions of India have slaugh- 
tered fishes, ia season and out, for thousands of years, and, 
doubtless, always wUl. 

The angler in India is at once struck by the nature of the 
fishes ; groups, like the catfish and carp, despised in many lands, 
here include fishes that are said to be essentially game, not to 
say bizarre in appearance. 


One of the best known authorities on the rod in India, Henry 
Sullivan Thomas, P.E.S., has told ns that there is ' as good 
fishing to be had in India as in England ' ; though from the very- 
nature of things it is, of course, very different. One writer gives 
the palm to the mahseer, whose praises have been sung by 
Kipling and many whose fortunes have been cast in India where 
everything, even the fishes, are strange to the man from the 
north or west. This author places the Indian fish ahead of the 
salmon in its play, and gives a most interesting number of details. 

The Indian fishes include a tarpon, though a small one, many 
carp-Uke fishes of extraordinary size ; some that climb trees, 
others that jump from rock to rock, as the PeriopJithalmus and 
the strange murral, which is not at all discomforted when the 
water dries up in its pool, the OpMocepJialus (which is its scientific 
name) going down into the mud, forming a cell about itself, and 
lying dormant until the water returns. I was told by a naturalist 
that he brought one of these mud cases to England in his trunk, 
where he placed it in water, the fish coming out in good condition. 

One who has read Professor Moseley's Voyage of the Challenger 
win recall his angling experiences with the flying gurnard, when 
the beautifully coloured fish seized his bait and a few moments 
later dashed into the air and soared about until it was jerked 
back into what might be assumed its native element. In the 
land of the little jumping goby, referred to, it is possible for the 
angler, with crab bait, to creep up on the muddy shores and 
angle out of water ; or it is among the possibilities to lay some 
angling plan to fish for the climbing perch in the palms it is said 
to frequent, at times high above the water. Here one may 
meet the quaint Anahas travelling across country from pool to 
pool. One can but acknowledge the angling possibilities are at 
least bizarre in India. 

The mahseer is often called the salmon of India, and specimens 
of sixty pounds have been taken ; but it is of the carp family 
and is caught in all the lull streams of India from Assam to the 
Punjab, and in nearly all the streams of Southern India. It is 



not to be compared to the plebeian carp of Germany, England or 
America. Its admirers call it a barbel and have honoured it 
Tvith the family name Cyprinae. To come to the point, our 
barbel, in the language of all nations, is Barbus tor, and the small 
specimen of three or four pounds, off hand, resembles very much 
the ordinary gold-fish of America, divested of the gold. Its 
scales are big and armour-Uke, the body thick and deep beneath 
the dorsal fin, there being a mere suggestion of a himip. Its 
dorsal is tall, the tail big, "wide, but short ; the head long, but 
small for the size of the body. On each side of the mouth is a 
barbel that might have been stolen from a Mississippi Eiver 
catfish, altogether a queer-looking, composite fish is the Bawanny 
mahseer of the Madras Presidency, said to be the best of the 

If now you are angling in the rivers of the west and north 
coast of India, you will find the same fish, but changed. It is 
longer and thicker, its tail is longer, more powerful ; the dorsal 
has dwindled ; and the head is totally different. In a word, the 
same fishes in different localities do not look at all aUke to the 
non-scientific angler. 

Another form of the mahseer has strange puffed-up Ups, the 
upper turning up, the lower down, and long barbel, like a goatee. 
They are also strangely coloured ; some have a gray back, the 
stomach silver, the fins a golden yeUow ; while the first men- 
tioned often has a rich golden hue, a gigantic gold-fish. In fact, 
so strange are the differences, that one is impressed by the Day 
figures, that either there are more than one species, or there may 
be sexual differences. 

In Assam, the fish is said to have a beautiful coppery bronze 
colour with vermilion-tinted fins. Another from Burmah is 
described as having a black back. The fish can be taken with a 
sixteen-foot salmon rod, and a spoon, or with live bait or plain 
fish bait or fly, aU of which is described in the minutest details 
by Thomas in his fine and exhaustive work. The Bod in 
India. For a scientific study of Indian fishes, the reader should 


consult Day, as space permits only a very general mention of the 
fishes in the present volume. The best rivers for mahseer are in 
Mysore, the Cavery, the Bawanny, the Kistna, the Tungabudra, 
and the Godarery. Another mahseer is the Carnatie carp, and 
there are many more, nearly all good fighters on light pliable rods. 

Good mahseer fishing is to be had, according to Mr. Eeginald 
Bolster, in the rocky streams that drain the Sulliman Hills on 
the Punjab-Baluchistan border. The Kah^ Eiver particularly 
is a good stream, rising at an elevation of 4,000 feet and reaching 
the sea on the plains near the old fort of Harrand in the Dera- 
Ghazi Khan District of the Punjab. Mr. Bolster took seventy- 
five fish, whose aggregate weight was nearly one hundred pounds. 
He used a spoon and a paste of flour, which was particularly 

It is an interesting fact that a number of fishes will take a fly 
in India, whose cousins in other parts of the world would not be 
suspected of this habit. There are ten species of the Chilwa, a 
long slender silvery fish, resembUng the tarpon. They are little 
fishes, and many of them will take a fly. The Barils (Barilius) 
afford good sport, fourteen or more kinds being known in all 
India. Nearly all have a trout-like habit of rising to a fly. 
Barilius bola looks not unlike a grayling, without the big dorsal. 
Thomas caUs it the Indian trout. 

I have referred to fortunate anglers. Permit me to quote 
from a letter to Mr. Marston, editor of the Fishing Gazette, from 
an English officer who claims to be an unlucky angler. To my mind, 
he presents an fllustration of a perfect angler. I regret I can- 
not quote his name, but his nom de plume is ' Ghadran,' and his 
paper on mahseer flshing in Burmah in the Gazette of December 
7, 1912, cannot fail to be of interest to anglers in the Orient. 
He says, and my apologies and sincere thanks are due for quot- 
ing so extensively from the paper : 

I HAVE the reputation for keenness in the superlative degree, so that on 
being transferred by a very kindly (as I thought then) Government to 



Burma — the land of the mighty Irrawaddy and its monster mahseer — ^all 
my leisure thoughts and moments were devoted to preparation for battle 
with giants, and my pockets more than emptied over the task, on the 
principle of not spoiling the ship for a ha'porth of tar. Equipment for 
the fight consisted of about a mile and a quarter of line, five whole-piece 
bamboo rods (product of the country), whipped and ringed by myself, one 
nine-foot spUt-cane spianiag-rod by Payne (New York), two fly rods, three 
large casting reels, the original ' SUex ' (a very old companion), vdth a 
smart yoimg brother in the shape of the ' Silex No. 2,' and the ' Meteor.' 
Add to the above Ust several smaller reels, spoons galore of huge (five-iach) 
dimensions, spinners, natural bait tackle, two coUs of ' Yarvon,' traces 
of wire and gut, material for construction and repair of tackle, and the 
outfit is complete and worthy of the foe. 

It must be remembered by those who may wonder at such an array 
of angUng material that the supply of fresh tackle is difficult. In Burma, 
once launched iato the jungle, the traveller has to make his own supply, 
and postal arrangements. Possibly a few eggs and an odd chicken or two 
may be obtained, but the replacement of tackle would take several weeks. 
Even on the Irrawaddy — ^the great waterway of the country — communica- 
tion is not at all what it might be on the upper reaches^ Burma is years 
behind India in development, only being given by that Government but 
a tithe of the large revenue produced by the former country. But, what- 
ever the faults of the country, it held very big and sporting fish, as the 
following bag wiU show. This was made in 1908 by Major Williams, of 
the Devon Regiment, and another rod, and is sufficient explanation to 
warrant my eagerness to try the locality of such sport. 

April 21. — 34 poimds, 10 poimds, 17 pounds, 11 pounds. Between 
8 and 11 a.m. Had four other runs. 

April 22 — 90 pounds, 70 pounds, 42 pounds. Morning and evening. 

April 23. — 53 pounds, 40 pounds, 19 pounds, 8 pounds, 65 pounds. 
Morning up to 11 a.m. \ 

April 24. — 56 pounds, 43 pounds, 16 pounds, 51 pounds. In the 
morning ; had other runs. 

April 25.-68 pounds, 16 pounds. In the morning. 

April 26. — 59 pounds, 35 pounds, 9 pounds, 7 pounds. Morning and 

AprO 27.-65 pounds, 48 pounds, 63 pounds. Morning and afternoon. 
Lost two big fish besides. 

April 28. — 48 pounds, 34 pounds, 70 potmds. Morning only. Lost 
a good fish with a lot of line besides. River became unfishable until May 

May 15. — ^20 pounds, 16 poimds, 9 pounds, 27 pounds, 29 pounds. 
Afternoon only. Was broken once, and had three other runs. 


May 16. — 62 pounds, 11 pounds, 16 pounds. Got broken twice in 

May 17. — 10 pounds, 5 pounds. Morning and afternoon. Broken 

May 18. — 48 pounds, 8 pounds, 58 pounds. Morning and afternoon. 

Twelve days' actual fishing. Forty-one fish landed, averaging 35^ 
pounds. Total weight, 1,466 pounds. Largest fish, 90 pounds ; length, 
60 inches ; girth, 34 inches. 

The best fish in the above bag is 90 pounds, and the modem and most 
authentic record for a mahseer caught with rod and line stands at 104 
pounds, caught near Coorg, in Madras, where a lucky angler scored a 
century (103 pounds and 104 pounds) two seasons running, so there was 
a good chance of record breaking it the Irrawaddy proved as productive 
as in 1908. The actual bag made on the Irrawaddy is given below, to- 
gether with the sport obtained on smaller rivers, and reveals a sorry 
attempt to get a specimen mahseer : — 


No. of 





Taiping and tribu-\ 
taries (Mole, ( 
Nampaung, Nan- [ 
tabet, and Tali) ) 

Irrawaddy . 

Indaw Lake . . J 
















Both caught spinning 
natural bait. 

One mahseer of 6 
pounds and five 
freshwater sharks. 

2| pounds mahseer on 
paste. 2 pounds 
ng^'-gyi-pan on fly- 

Totals . . . 




* Unweighed. 

It would be of little interest to home readers to discuss theories to 
accoimt for the lamentable failure in the Irrawaddy, but it sufi&ces to say 
that no good bags have been made for two or three years, and that all the 



anglers I met had nothing hut hlank days to record. The season was said 
to be an abnormal one ; the river was in flood and cloudy, and the weather 
of the worst description. 

I count myself an unlucky angler, and the following is an instance. 
At one place on the Irrawaddy (with a big reputation) I spun for nine 
days, morning and evening, from a big rock about thirty yards out in the 
stream. It was a monotonous occupation, varied by using two rods and 
two different kinds of casting-reels. There were only two places from 
which casting could be done, one on each side of the rock round which the 
powerful current swirled and eddied over other, but sunken, rocks, making 
a large backwater, which was treacherous water for heavy spoons, as it 
concealed many boulders with its ever-changing surface. 

In my pursuit of the elusive mahseer I covered 250 miles in marching 
alone, without counting distances to and from fishing. Eighty miles of the 
Irrawaddy were either fished or looked at with a fisherman's eye. The 
point finally reached was between 700 and 800 miles from Rangoon, and 
I believe well over the frontier — but tell it not to miUtary pohoemen or 
to deputy-commissioners of the frontier brand. From this place I 
travelled part of the way down stream on a bamboo raft knocked up in a 
few hours by Gurkhas in a very workmanlike fashion. It was a most 
unwieldy vessel, and myself and crew nearly foxmd a watery grave by 
colliding with one of the gold-dredgers' wixe cables which stretch across 
the river, and are lowered for traffic. In midstream the wire when 
loosened sinks right down, but our raft got swept towards one bank by 
the current, and we finally just avoided the cable, hitting it with one 
comer of the raft. There were a few exciting seconds, during which we 
were wondering what the crash would be Hke — ^if the wire would slice the 
raft in two portions, and what pieces would be left us to cUng to and avoid 
being sucked imder by the current. A few weeks before a Kachin boy 
had been swept off a similar raft and drowned. Ghadean. 

I first heard of the glories of the Eohu (Ldbeo roMta) from 
Kipling and was caught by the names mahseer and rohu. The 
latter can properly be classed among the great game fishes of 
India. Eohu is a large carp, looking not unlike a roach, but with. 
the long pointed head of the carp. Its body is broad ; the 
dorsal fin big ; tail powerful, put together for a fight long and 
well contested. The fish attains a length of three feet and a 
weight of sixty pounds. There are other species which have 
been taken weighing thirty, forty and even seventy pounds, 


giants of the carp family, whose mere weight, whether taken with 
paste, fly or spoon, would make work for an angler and repay 
him for reading a little book called TanTc FisJiing in India, in which 
he win learn all about its delights. That the sport is becoming 
universal and popular is seen from the fact that the Calcutta 
Angling Club propagates the Eohu and others, and has, accord- 
ing to Thompson, placed twenty-five thousand Rohu, Catla and 
others in their preserves, from which younglings they have 
taken ten and twenty pounders. 

There are in Indian waters a number of fierce fishes, which 
are known as fresh water sharks. If you are in Hindustan you 
will hear of the Bow^li. In angling in the Tamil country, it is 
the Wallago, GwaU in the Punjab, the MuUey of Tirhoot, and 
the Baralie in Assam. But it is always the Wallago attu, a good 
fighter with a sixteen-ounce salmon rod and a one and a half 
inch spoon. With such tackle, eight, nine and twelve pounders 
can be taken. The WaUago is a curious-looking fish, reminding 
one of the deep sea fishes which have long feelers and pseudo- 
electric lights on the end of them. In a word, the Wallago looks 
like a fish upside down, as it has a long pseudo-dorsal on 
the under side, with merely a wisp of a fin above, and its barbels 
come from the upper jaw ia front of the eyes, and are a fourth of 
the length of its long slender body. It looks better tipped 
upside down. Many of these fishes are taken in tanks or 
reservoirs ; others again only in rivers. 

Among the latter is a gigantic catfish, called Bagarius for 
lack of a better name. It tips the scales at one hundred and 
forty pounds at its best, and rejoices in a mouth large enough 
to swallow any bait. In fact, one taken of this size, swallowed 
a fourteen-pound rohu that was being played by an angler. 
Day shows a picture of this big fish in his notable work ; and let 
me say, if the story, which is absolutely true, had been told in 
America a thirty-foot crocodile would have taken the Bagarius 
in due turn and then been landed complacently with rod and 
reel. Mr. Ardwell took in four days with one rod fourteen fish, 



whicli weighed one thousand and sixty-flve pounds. In the 
Punjab, this fish is known as the Goonch. 

These gigantic ' cats ' make a meny fight, especially the 
silun {Silundia gangetica), which is taken with a spoon. One 
in constantly reminded of the difference between the catfish and 
carp of England and India. What one Englishman thinks of 
the catfish is told in the following clever lines from Punch : 

' No Catfish Please ! 

' Oh do not bring the Catfish here ! 
The Catfish is a name of fear. 

Oh, spare each stream and spring : 
The Kennet Swift, the Wandle clear, 
The lake, the loch, the broad, the mere, 

From that detested thing ! 

'The Catfish is a hideous beast, 
A bottom-feeder that doth feast 

Upon imholy bait : 
He's no addition to your meal. 
He's rather richer than the eel ; 

And ranker than the skate. 

' His face is broad, and flat, and glum ; 
He's Hke some monstrous miller's thumb ; 

He's bearded hke the pard. 
Beholding him the grayling flee. 
The trout take refuge in the sea. 

The gudgeons go on guard ! 

' He grows into a startling size ; 
The British matron 'twould surprise. 

And raise her burning blush, 
To see white catfish, large as man. 
Through what the bards call " water wan " 

Come with an ugly rush ! 

'They say the catfish climbs the trees, 
And robs the roosts, and, down the breeze. 

Prolongs his catterwaul. 
Ah, leave him in his western flood, 
Where Mississippi chums the mud ; 
Don't bring him here at all ! ' 

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Another game Indian catfish is the Tengara, while the Kor» 
in Assam has been taken at sixty pounds, and the Poongah at 
twenty. They all take live bait, or a spoon. One of the most 
extraordinary of the Indian fishes is the Chitala (Nolopterus^ 
cMtala), a big humpback, small-headed creature, built on the 
lines of the sacred ox, that elbows tourists out of the way in the 
narrow streets of the cities of the Orient ; at least it has a great 
hump and a ridiculous fin on its back. They are silvery and at- 
tractive, and judged from appearances the last fish to leap. 
But read Thompson's enthusiastic account of the play of the 
fish in his Fishing in India. 

The game fishes of India are too numerous to even enumerate 
in a single chapter, and I can but refer to some of the most 
notable, as the Batchwa, that takes a fly from March on, at 
l*farora, and the Pupta at Delhi and Bisalpore. I have referred 
to the murral or OpMocephcHus, one of the most remarkable of 
all fishes for its nest or hibernating habits. The drying up of a 
tank or a pond does not worry the murral ; it merely burrows, 
and like a bear sleeps away the bad season, thus giving rise to 
the wonder of the remarkable rain of fishes, the rain merely 
faUing in a dry pond and releasing the murral, which I might 
say has been fished for by a friend with a spade, very much 
as the farmer digs potatoes. 

In general appearance the murral does not appeal to the 
western angler. He is a little too eel-Uke, and uncanny ; but in a 
general way closely resembles the beautiful kelp-fish of Santa 
Catalina kelp beds. Its head is small and pointed, the eye, as 
in the tarpon, at the end of the head. It has a long dorsal and 
ventral fin, calling to mind that of the California whitefish. 
The tail is rounded like that of the Florida jewfish, so that 
the angler might assume that it was a sluggish bottom-loving 
fish, and it is said that it frequents holes in the bank. 

In angling for the murral, mahseer tackle may be used, or a 
light rod and a small spinner. The Murral looks upon a frog 
with a not unfriendly eye, and there are divers ways of torturing 

6 8x 


■^ live frog when he is acting in the r61e of live bait ; but if it must 
be done, hook him through the lips as you would a minnow, 
better yet, do not do it at all. The reader wiU recall the old, 
•old picture in Punch, entitled ' The Comforts of Angling,' or 
something of the sort, showing a bibulous angler sitting on a 
tidal river leaning against a tree, fast asleep. He had cast a 
live frog, which has reached the shore and is sitting beside the 
angler. The tide has risen to the latter's knees, but he sleeps on, 
and according to the legend, all he caught was a bad cold. The 
moral is, not to torture a frog. ' Skittering ' for pickerel with a 
live frog is said to be an American sport ; but it does not add to 
the esthetic features of angling, and certainly does not to the 
Joy of the frog. In point of fact, all ' Uve bait ' usages of this 
nature are melancholy exhibitions of man's latent ferocity, 
which he is gradually outgrowing. A resourceful angler can use 
a dead silvery bait, and by his skill make it appear alive. Another 
method of taking the muxral is, according to Thompson, to ' dap 
with a dead frog.' I am desirous that the reader should read his 
remarkable book on India, hence I wUI not explain what a ' dap ' is. 
Day in his Fishes of India mentions several species of these 
fishes. I think nine in all. It is said that they appeal par- 
ticularly to the sport-loving Mussulmans, who can eat fish with- 
out the offering of halldl, and are fond of the murral. Unques- 
tionably to land a three-foot fish with a light rod, and know 
that it can live for months in a dry hole six feet under the ground, 
that it win jump out of your basket and ' walk away ' to the 
3)ond, a fish that wiU drown if it cannot breathe air like the 
:angler, is a solace and desideratum. 

As to eels in India, ' the imperious sea-bred monsters,' there 
are many, also sea snakes out at sea, in droves. Some of the 
eels running up to eighteen pounds, are four feet long, and app^ 
to the shade of LucuUus. 

The salt water fishes of India are numerous, large, often hard 
:fighters, and can be taken in many of the estuaries. The Bsbmin 
and various species of the bass tribe, Lutianus, are found here, 



One of the really great game flslies is the B^min (Polynemus tetra- 
dactylus), with the head of a trout, the mouth of an anchovy, and 
the body of a tarpon. It takes a fly, which is creditable to the 
Bar-meen, which also is a notorious consumer of tackle, accord- 
ing to Thompson, who has successfully cast for it in the P^mban 
channel. Colonel Osborn has written entertainingly of it. 

One of the fine, hard fighting fishes of India, and which looks 
the part, is the Begti of Calcutta, called the Kulanji by the 
Canarese, the Coollon by the Malays, and the Jack or Ifair fish 
by the European. The fish resembles wonderfully a ferocious, 
fighting-mad yellow perch, but he is Lates calcarifer, and has 
been taken up to sixty pounds. Silvery in colour with a rich 
brown sheen playing over its surface, the Indian jack is a hand- 
some fish, and can be taken with rod and reel after the fashion 
of the mahseer. Here we find many allies of the Florida snapper, 
as the red perch, caught at Madras. The gray perch, GhrysopJieys 
herda, is very attractive. Here we also find an Slops, a most 
active fish of two or three feet that will take a white fiy. 

The famous silver king, the tarpon, has a representative at the 
marine Court of India, near about where Queen Gulnare came up 
out of the sea. This is Megalops cyprinoides. It is very small, 
but a perfect tarpon, and what is interesting, takes a May fly with 
avidity, also live bait. Like the mighty American tarpon, it leaps 
well, when hooked. When you hear a Tamil speak of Morang 
Eendai, you may know he is thinking of going a-fishing, and 
that the India fly-taking tarpon is the game, but in so hot a 
country you think a long time sometimes and then do not go. 

It is practically impossible to even mention all the good game 
fishes of India, and I always remember to refer the reader to Day's 
splendid work on the fishes of that wonderful region, and Thomp- 
son on the sport. I can refer but briefly to such fine game as 
the Seer, which leaps eight feet and has a fighting weight of 
fifteen pounds. Like the American blue-fish, it wUl take a lure 
at full gpeed, trolling. Then we have the thirty-pound Chanos 
and many more. 



The lakes and rivers abound in fish. Kodaik^nal in the 
Pulney Hills, a mile above the sea, contains a Baril which takes a 
fly, and in Lake Ootacamimd you may take a number of fish. 
While passing, it might be mentioned that the owner of Lake 
BeUikal, which affords good angling, is V. Thiruvengada Sw^mi 
Mudaliar, according to the unbelievers a most excellent name 
for an angler. 

English trout have been introduced in some Indian waters 
as the Pykara Eiver, Avelanche Eiver and Burnfoot Lake. 
The Dodabetta reservoir and Kunda Eiver have trout. The 
gouxami found in India and Chinese waters is a hard fighting 
fish, and a fish of peculiar character, chiefly interesting for its 
nest-bmlding habits which I have been fortunate in observing. 
The Gourami (Osphromenus goramy) is a native of China and has 
been introduced into India and many lands. It wiU grow in 
favourable localities to a length of six feet and attains a weight of 
one hundred pounds, a big, hard-pulling, hard-fighting fish ; yet 
it is one of the few fishes which builds a dainty nest. 

In Siam, Assam and Burmah and the neighbouring islands 
there are many fine sea-fishes, and many interesting ones in the 
lakes and streams. One, the Kttle paradise-fish, I have been told, 
will take a fly ; but it must be a dry fly of the smallest kind. I 
was once fortunate in having a pair of these beautiful httle 
fishes under my observation for a number of days, where I could 
watch their nest building, which was a most interestiag sight. 

In wandering around the world the angler will find trout 
fishing in unexpected places, as at the IsTilguls, Ceylon, where the 
I^Ugiri streams have been successfully stocked with American 
rainbows. The consummation of this feat was celebrated with 
due form, and His Excellency the Governor opened the season 
by landing the first fish. In Ceylon the Nuwara EHya has been 
stocked with brown trout, Salmo fario, and rainbows. The 
latter stand the heat well. The Ceylon fishing club now attends 
to the stocking and has excellent sport. 




' Fisherman. Master, I marvel how the fishes live in the sea. 
Master. Why, as men do a-land : the great ones eat up the little ones.' 


IT has been my good fortune to observe the swordfish of many 
seas. I have seen XipMas on its spawning tour, not far 
from Tripoli in African waters, undisturbed by the wash of the 
ship. I have seen it in the Atlantic off Block Island and Boon 
Island ; have harpooned at least two species in Florida, but I 
beUeve the fish I saw one day at San Clemente Island, when 
fishing with Dr. Giffiord Pinchot, made the strongest impression 
on me. 

We were trolling for this game, sitting comfortably in the chairs 
of Mexican Joe's launch, side by side and facing the stern. It 
was a hot day in September, and there was scarcely a ripple on the 
deep-blue ocean save where the occasional leap of the big sunfish 
sent it into violent radiations, or the crash and subsequent foam, 
far away, told of the leaping tuna. Thinking my bait might be 
foul with weed, I rose, and stepping onto the little deck, reeled in. 
As the one-pound flying fish came up out of the clear and scintil- 
lant depths, directly at me came the biggest swordfish I had ever 
seen, of so splendid a blue that I could compare it only to a great 
tourmaline, melting into the ineffable labradorite hue of the 
water. I was fascinated, hypnotized, and he came up until I 
could have jumped onto his back or impaled myself on his sharp 
rapier and dagger, as the upper jaw in this species of Tetrapterus 
bears the sword, while the lower is a dagger which it carries much 



as the Italians carried them, in the left hand, in the time of 

The moment it saw me it turned, and for a second I saw the 
entire length of this tiger of the sea — a twelve-foot, or over, 
sapphire, striped with at least sixteen whitish bars which gave 
it a rakish and tiger-like appearance. Its large, black, hypnotic 
ichthyosanrian eyes were 'magnified until they appeared like 
saucers. I caught a glimpse of its keen rapier-Uke sword, then 
it melted into the blue of the Kuro-shiwo down which it is alleged 
to have travelled from Japan. 

There was nothing unusual in this sociability, as it is charac- 
teristic of all the tribe I have met. The XipMas of six hundred 
or one thousand pounds wHl drop off to sleep, and lie basking on 
the surface. On one occasion I saw two monsters ten miles 
south of Cape Henry, near Hatteras, slowly swimming along, not 
moving until the cutwater of the yacht actually ran into their 
tails. At our camp at San Clemente Island, California, we 
frequently saw the big fins cutting the water leisurely as the fish 
came down the coast ; and they would often allow us to go within 
twenty or thirty feet before they would drop their big dorsal and 
sink, to appear shortly several hundred feet away. If there 
were two, as was usual, they would find each other in a seem- 
ingly incomprehensible fashion. Doubtless their eyes are far- 

If asked to indicate what is the finest big game fish in the 
world, all things considered — strength, endurance and speeta- 
cular characteristics — I think I should name this fish, and that I 
should be supported by Dr. Gifford Pinchot, Mr. T. McD. Potter, 
Col. John E. Stearns, Mr. C. G. Conn, Mr. Smith-Warren and 
Mr. Dorsey, who are experts with this game and have taken 
many of them. The tuna is a marvellous fish ; it stands first 
among the fishes that can be taken with the rod in strength, 
power and endurance, as seventy voting members of the Tuna 
Club can testify. But the average tuna is a sulker, and if the 
fish is in the best condition it takes a superhuman effort to kill 


it ; this is why so many men have expended weeks and thou- 
sands of dollars in the effort to take one. Mr. Eoss of Montreal, 
accomplished a feat in taking his seven hundred pound tuna with 
rod and reel that has no parallel in the annals of big game on 
land or sea. 

This swordflsh is not by any means so strong, pound for pound, 
but it is strong enough to satisfy the physical longings of the 
average man, and the big fish at their best are almost invincible to 
any but an angler in good condition. To this I would add the 
spectacular feature of leaping in which they outdo the famous 
tarpon, ten to one. Again, and not to be forgotten, is the ele- 
ment of danger. This fish is liable to ram the boat. 

In the Atlantic a sitmlar species has been known to injure^ 
a vessel so seriously that she put into port leaking badly. There 
is a great difference in individuals, and this is true of aU fishes. 
Many are not in condition, but I believe I saw the killing of ai 
typical fish when I stood by Dr. Gifford Pinchot, Ex-U.S. Forester,. 
one night between Santa Catalina and San Clemente islands. 
He had taken one fish in the morning, and about five o'clock, 
his twenty-foot launch came into port with a request that I 
go out to see a swordfish jump that he had hooked some time 
before. I later learned that Mexican Joe, his boatman, wished 
me to stand by them as the fish was forcing them out to sea, and 
night was coming on. I took the hehn from the boy who brought, 
in the launch, but presently learned that he did not know where 
they were except in a general way. I knew the fish was towing 
them out, so took a course to the east and kept on for several 
miles but without finding them ; then I gradually altered my 
course to the north and at last, when I estimated that I was- 
three or four miles off San Clemente I saw a faint gleam on my 
port bow and lq a short time reached them. Mexican Joe had. 
lighted his last match hoping that I would see it, and it was the 
glare of this impossible signal and forlorn hope that caught my 
eye. I had a lantern out and they had seen me. Bounding up 
behind their boat I gave it to them. Pinchot was sitting facing: 



the stern, playing the big fish that was towing them at a rate of 
iour or five miles an hour. 

I had a most uncomfortable time trying to keep within reach, 
yet not too near, and when I rounded up and was caught in 
the trough of the sea I would be nearly thrown out of the launch. 
The darkness was now intense, but the phosphorescence so vivid 
that they appeared to be in a sea of fire. Pinchot brought that 
fish to gaff fourteen times, and fourteen times it broke away and 
Jie had aU the work to do over again. At last, after several 
hours, he shouted that Joe had gaffed the fish, and I could see 
their figures in a weird blaze of phosphorescent light. In attempt- 
ing to get alongside, as I feared they would capsize in the small 
craft, I ran into them on the crest of a big sea ; the blaze of light, 
the heavy sea, and the intense darkness tending to confusion, 
though I am not attempting to excuse my clumsiness. The 
impact nearly knocked Joe overboard and he lost his hold on the 
•swordflsh, and cried ' He's off ! ' 

' iJiTo, he is not ! ' shouted the Chief Forester. ' I have 
him by the tail,' and as I backed off I saw the extraordinary sight 
■of the angler holding the maddened ten-foot fish by the tail while 
it swung up and down, churning the sea into fire. It was a 
remarkably plucky thing to do under any circumstances, and 
I thought as I clung with one hand to the wheel, the other in 
the clutch of the engine, trying to hold myself in, that if I ever 
got into a tight place I should Uke to have Gifford Pinchot 
with me, as I would know he was there to stay, no matter what 
came. I made another attempt to get alongside, this time suc- 
cessfully. Joe had again gaffed the swordsman, and I took 
their line while they lashed the game to the seat ; then they came 
aboard the launch which was turned and headed for camp, about 
;six or seven miles in, where Governor Pardee of California had 
lighted a big bonfire as a beacon. 

It takes but a few words to give an outline of such a battle, 
but it occupied several hours in which danger was always present 
to the two men in a two hundred-pound skiff. 

Fig. 14. A Morning's Catcla of Sword Fish, Sar 
By Col. J. W. Dorsey and Mr. W. B. 

ma Island, California. Average, about 170 lbs. 
f The Tuna Club. Photo by Reyes. p. 88. 


Dr. Pinchot lias written his impressions of this night adven- 
ture, which were published in Colliefs WeeTcly of April 6, 1912. 
The following is a brief extract from the article, bearing on it : 

' I struck with all my might, but the huge fish, hooked, as we saw later, 
in the bony side of the jaw, paid no attention. Joe backed water, I 
reeled rapidly, and we were within fifty feet of the swordfish before he 
discovered what was wrong. Then out of the deep he came. Then rush 
followed rush, leap followed leap. High out of water sprang this splendid 
fish, then lunged with his lance along the surface, his big eye staring as 
he rose, till the impression of beauty and hthe power was enough to make 
a man's heart sing within him. It was a moment to be remembered for 
a Ufetime. 

' Then the fury over, the great fish started away. As rapidly as a 
man could row he towed our skiff a mUe straight down the coast. As soon 
as the swordfish showed himseK after the strike, the launch was sent back 
to camp for Dr. Charles F. Holder, who knows more of big game fishing 
at sea than aU the rest of us put together. But Dr. Holder never had 
happened to take a swordfish or seen one taken. Indeed, I doubt whether 
two dozen, all told, have been caught in the history of angling in the 
Catahna waters. So the launch disappeared in the failing fight, and 
scarcely had it done so when the swordfish turned and towed us out to sea. 

' The utmost efforts of Joe with the oars and myself with the rod 
barely sufficed to keep us within reasonable distance of the rushing fish. 
Darkness was falliag fast, and by the time we were three miles out in the 
channel I confess to many a wish and many a look for the launch. Sunset 
was gone when it came. Joe, wisest of aU sea dogs, had been Mghtiag 
matches behind my back and holding them in his circhng hands for the 
launch to see, and so it found us. The tide was running strong, the wind 
rising against it, and the sea picking up. I welcomed Dr. Holder's 
arrival with distinct satisfaction. Afterward Joe asked me whether I had 
been nervous. I gave myself the benefit of the doubt, and told him " No, 
because the launch was with us after dark." " WeU," said Joe, " the skiff 
would have stood a great deal more sea than the launch. The only thing 
I was afraid of was that the machinery of the launch would break down 
and the current carry her on the rocks at the Hook. We could always get 
in with the skiff, if there did not come a fog. 

' Straight into the rising sea went the swordfish, and there was nothing 
to do but foUow him. For a time the crescent moon shone thinly over 
the dim shape of the island, then moon and island disappeared together, 
while the great fish with a strength I could neither break nor check, dragged 
the boat against wind and sea. An hour went by, and then another, yet 



the swordfish apparently was as strong as ever. By this tune the sea 
was so high, as Holder told us afterward, that at times he could not see 
us between the waves. It was almost pitch dark, too, so that more than 
once, in the effort to keep close by, he nearly ran us down.' 

A Colonel of the British Army had a very similar experi- 
ence in the same place, the contest being longer, and if the 
one hundred swordfish battles of the Tmia Club anglers of 1912 
could be told they would show a series more exciting than any 
sport on the seven seas. 

This swordfish is so common in the Santa CataUna channel in 
the faU, or in August, September and October, that it is called 
the Santa CataUna swordfish, and it is taken and seen nowhere 
else in America, though fairly common in Japan ; hence its 
name, Tetrapterus mitsukurii. It comes in from the unknown 
to mate and doubtless spawn in the faU, but the yoimg have 
never been seen here nor anywhere else. The tackle used for 
this fish is, in effect, the tuna tackle — a sixteen-ounce rod with 
agate guides, three hundred yards of twenty-one or twenty- 
four thread line, a long leader of piano-wire with several swivels, 
and a No. 10 hook. The bait is a flying fish, rock bass, or Bonito, 
trolled, and many are taken with the kite described elsewhere. 
These fishes feed on mackerel, menhaden, or fishes which are 
inclined to school. To see a \>\g XipTiias dash into a school of 
mackerel at night, which can be seen several miles distant, as a 
splash of dull fire, due to phosphorescence, is a remarkable 
experience. The swordfish strikes to right and left, cutting 
down its prey for the mere lust of killing, then picks them up at 
leisure. The Santa Catalina swordfish approaches the islands, 
swims down the edges of the kelp forests, and preys upon the 
myriads of rock bass which infest these shades beneath the sea. 

The Tuna Club swordfish record, which weighed three hundred 
and thirty-nine pounds, was taken by the Hon. C. G. Conn, 
of Elkhart, Indiana, and hangs in the Clubhouse at Avalon. 
In 1912 the Tuna Club reported one hundred catches for the 
season, representing a weight of thirty thousand pounds, and an 


average of two hundred pounds. All were taken on rod and reel. 
The best individual catch was that of Mr. Smith- Warren of the 
Tuna Club, who with Capt. George Farnsworth as boatman, 
landed six swordfish in one fishing, Captain Willie, a pro- 
fessional swordfish fisherman of ISew England, now of Avalon, 
tells me he has seen the arrival of these swordsmen of the sea at 
Santa CataUna, the school being made up of thousands of the 
big fish lying in the San Clemente channel. They undoubtedly 
come in from the outer banks or sea in big schools, then break 
up or pair. 

The common Atlantic swordfish, XipMas gladius, is also occa- 
sionally found in CaKfornia, and I am told by Mr. T. S. Manning, 
honorary Secretary of the Tuna Club, that a number have been 
hooked ; but they were unmanageable' and too heavy. It is 
possible that this explains several of my experiences. I have 
had several strikes well inshore, but in deep water, by some fishes 
that were so irresistible that I merely pointed the rod at the un- 
known and let the six hundred feet of line go to save the rod. 
The whole line, apparently, was jerked from the reel. An old 
boatman of mine watched a battle to the death between a 
XipMas and a Tetrapterus. They sailed about one another, 
occasionally charging with terrific force. I found one of these 
fishes, the Tetrapterus, that had floated into Catalina Harbour. 
It was pierced in several places, once through the eye, literally 
stabbed to death. 

The great XipMas has a much longer sword than its Cahfornian 
cousin, and is yet uncaught with rod and reel, though Dr. Pinchot 
played one over an hour ofE Block Island, and will yet land the 
game. There is more or less interest in taking it with the harpoon 
or ' lily iron ' off Cape Cod, where a fleet of schooners follow the 
game in summer. I have watched the vessels unloading at 
Boston, the holds being fuU of the big fishes packed in salt. 
The meat is in constant demand in ISeyf England. 

This fish, so far as known, breeds in the Mediterranean and, 
doubtless, on the high seas. The young are strange little creatures, 



totally unlike the parents, both jaws being equal. In summer 
they lie on the surface. The hunters cruise about with a man 
in the top and when a fish is sighted, another man takes his place 
on the jib-boom, where a little platform and a stanchion with a rest 
to lean against are rigged. The man aloft directs the helmsman 
and puts the harpooner directly over the stupid and lethargic 
fish. Once stri^ck, it makes off, towing the line on the end of 
which is a keg, which is tossed over and picked up later by the 
men in a dory. 

One might weE compare this fish to an African buffalo or 
rhinoceros, as it is a dangerous creature, charging boats and ships 
often without rhyme or reason. I knew a man who was almost 
spitted when rowing a boat near STew York, and the sloop, Bed 
Sot, of the United States Fish Commission, was rammed and 
sunk by one of these swordfishes. The late Professor G. Brown 
Goode of the Smithsonian Institution of Washington, made a 
list of the attacks of the swordflsh on ships for a number of years, 
and collected, it made an appaUing demonstration, showing that 
the fish is inquisitive, ugly and vindictive, and a menace to be 
counted with. 

Many estimates as to the strength of a blow of a swordflsh 
have been given. One, is that it is equivalent to nine or ten 
blows of a hammer weighing thirty pounds. The British ship 
BreadnaugM was struck by a swordflsh after the men had hooked 
it, the fish turning and ramming her so that she was pumped all 
the way to Colombo and there ' hove down ' and the hole found. 
The ship collected six hundred pounds insurance on the testimony 
of Frank Buckland and Professor Owen. The ship Wyoming 
was struck, the sword going through a four-inch plank and twelve 
inches in all. The crew felt the shock, but as the sword broke 
off it did not materially injure the ship. The sloop, Morning Star, 
Captain Taylor, was struck so heavily by a swordflsh that it 
jarred the vessel all over. She leaked so badly that another 
vessel had to convoy her into port, when it was found that the 
sword had gone through planking, timber and ceihng. The 


plank was two inches thick, the timber five inches, the ceiling one 
and a half inches of white oak. The ship Fortune of Plymouth, 
Mass, had an extraordinary experience. She was struck by a 
big swordfish, the weapon breaking off, not causing a leak. 
This sword first penetrated the copper sheathing, then an inch 
undersheathing, a three-inch plank of hard wood, then a solid 
white oak timber, twelve inches thick, then a two and one-haK inch 
hard oak ceiling, finally entering the head of an oil cask where it 
remained. Almost any dockyard can provide remarkable 

On the Florida coast there are several swordfishes which are 
game fishes in every sense, particularly the sailfish, Istiophorus- 
nigricans, or Black swordfish. It ranges up to six or eight feet 
and to one hundred and fifty pounds. In general appearance it 
has the high domed forehead of the Santa Catahna fish. When it 
reaches the surface it elevates its dorsal fin, which is an enormous 
sail-Uke organ of great beauty, boomed out by many rays. The sail 
is blue with black spots — a most beautiful object, which the fish 
can lower or ' set ' at pleasure. The fish is taken with tarpon tackle 
by trolling from a launch or sailboat, and when hooked wiU leap 
and make a spectacular fight. Palm Beach is a favourite place j 
also Long Key to the south, one of the finest anghng resorts ia 
Florida, where over one hundred of these fishes were taken in the 
spring of 1912. 

StiU another swordfish, T. imperator, is found in the Atlantic 
about the West India Islands. The largest of the swordfishes is 
found near Madagascar ia the Indian Ocean. The Araerican 
consul, Mr. Nicholas Pite, told me of specimens twenty-five feet 
in length, one of which leaped over a native proa passing through 
the sail. This fish had a dorsal fin of extraordinary size, eight 
or ten feet high, giving it the appearance at a distance of some 
beautiful oriental craft. Doubtless aU the fishes of this striking 
group may be included under the head of game fishes. 

The angler desiring to try a bout with these doughty swords- 
men of the sea wiU find facilities for the capture of the sailfish 



at Palm Beach, Long Key Camp and other points in Florida. 
For the XipMas of six hundred or one thousand pounds he should 
ship for a cruise mth a swordfish fisherman from Boston or 
Block Island ; and for the Santa Catalina swordfish, from the 
town of Avalon, where he will find swordfish cups and albums and 
records of scores of battles in the rooms of the Santa Catalina 
Tuna Club, whose records of catches for the last year is appended 
to illustrate how this new game has taken its place as the great 
game fish of American waters. The Holder swordfish cup was 
won by Mr. L. G. Murphy, of Converse, Indiana, his fish weigh- 
ing three hundred and eighteen pounds. The Victoria Alden 
cup, for the largest fish, was also won by Mr. Murphy. The 
McMillan medal of Mr. W. I*]". McMillan, of London and British 
East Africa, was won by Mr. C. G. Twist, Santa Ana, California. 
The fish weighed two hundred and eighty-one pounds. The Tuna 
Club medallions, gold, silver and bronze, for first, second and 
third largest fish during 1912, were won by Mr. L. G. Murphy. 
Fish weighed three hundred and eighteen pounds ; Mr. Chas. L. 
GriflEith, two hundred and ninety-eight pounds weight of fish ; 
Mr. T. McD. Potter, two hundred and ninety-pound fish. 

In a recent letter from Dr. Gifford Pinchot, in referring to 
the fishing season of 1910, at San Clemente, which I missed, being 
in Europe, he says : 

' I got another swordfish in an hour and fifty minutes ; landed it with 
a broken rod about an hour after dark, while Amos took a three hundred 
pounder (weighed two hundred and seventy-eight pounds twenty-four 
hours out of water, after losing much blood) in an hour and 
nineteen minutes after one of the prettiest fights you ever saw in your 
life. The fish was so tame at first that Mexican Joe in the skiff with 
Amos tried to gaff it within three minutes after it was hooked. Fortu- 
nately he failed, for immediately after it came to Ufa, made one round of 
the skiff on its tail, drenching both of them with water, and then made a 
straight away run of two hundred 3rards, largely above the water in 
great leaps. It was the prettiest fight on the whole I have ever seen 
any fish make. The fishing was comparatively poor this year, but the 
Island just as attractive as ever.' 



Mr. T. McD, Potter, Vice-President of tlie Tuna Club, took 
the third largest swordfish of the season of 1912 and he sends 
me the following data regarding its play — ^written by Mr. C. V, 
Barton of the Tuna Club for the Fidd and Stream : 

' Mr. Potter had already taken to-day one swordfish weighing one 
hundred and ninety-four pounds (his second for the season) and he 
was now after a third, just to round out the day. Captain Walker 
pointed the Leona's nose toward the " doldrums " running several miles 
out from Seal Exjcks, one of the headlands five mUes from Avalon, Santa 
CataUna. Captain Walker's method was to attach about seventy-five 
feet of six-strand Une to a small silk or paper kite. The lower end of this 
kite string was attached to the angler's twenty-four-strand line ten feet 
from the flying fish bait. The angler paid out two hundred or two 
hundred and fifty feet of Une, letting the kite 75 feet in the air, holding 
the end of the angler's line so that the bait, responding tb the frequent 
jerks of the angler's rod, jumped and " skittered " along the surface in a 
most HfeUke manner. 

' Mr. Potter now sighted the upper lobe of a tail projecting from the 
water and Captain Walker skilfully pointed the Leona around so that the 
skittering fljTng fish bait attracted the monster's attention. 

' Soon the angler felt a gentle nibble at the bait. As the swordfish, with 
all its terrible paraphernalia of ofience and defence, does not rush upon the 
bait, and stir up the seven seas in taking it. He " poked " at the bait 
gently with his sword, then came an inquiring nibble, and the angler paid 
out line to give the fish ample opportunity to pursue its investigations 
further. The resistance grew stronger, the swordfish took the bait in its 
hard, bony, toothless mouth ; a moment's hesitation and the angler 
struck, and the battle was on. The swordfish leaped from the water 
repeatedly, circling about the boat in a vain endeavour to rid itself of the 

' The boatman aided the angler to gain Une, while the latter reeled 
the dangerous slack and brought the fish nearer the launch. They did 
not want the fish to somid, as that would mean at least an extra hour of 
hard, heart-breaking work. 

' There was an element of real danger in this stage of the game, as the 
fish rushed at the boat and the swordsman weighed about three hundred 
pounds. The angler was doing his fighting standing in the stem of the 
boat, with the butt of his sixteen -ounce rod in a belt socket, pumping and 
reeling in for dear life, when the boatman cried, " L-o-o-k out ! " 

' The swordfish was headed directly for the boat, coming on like a 
torpedo. Mr. Potter said that Captain Walker crouched down behind 



the engine. Captain Walker says, respectfully and not for publication, 
that Mr. Potter hunted for the inside of the boat's bottom. 

' The swordfish veered when alongside, just missing the stem, and was 
landed after a hard struggle.'^ 

The season of 1912 was one of the most remarkable in the 
history of swordfish angling at Santa Catalina. The sport 
lasted even into Ifovember, and the Clnb has records and 
photographs of one hundred specimens taken with sixteen- 
onnce rods and twenty-one or twenty-fonr lines. Some of the 
adventures of the anglers were very graphic, and not a few were 
startled by the extraordinary leaps of the swordfish about the 
boat. Mr. Warren informed me that one of his high leapers 
jumped so near the boat, and was so apparently coming at it on 
his tail, that they aU. dodged, expecting to be hit. One of, if not 
the most remarkable catch, was that of Col. J. W. Dorsey of 
San Francisco, a member of the Tuna Club. The following I 
quote from the San Francisco Bulletin : 

' Various records have been achieved for angling prowess by sportsmen 
of the coast, the East and abroad, but it remained for a San Francisco 
angler. Colonel J. W. Dorsey, to reach the apex of deep-water fame in 
making a world's record catch of swordfish with a rod and hne, tackle of 
the regulation Tuna Club requirements — a twenty -four strong cuttyhunk 
line and a six-foot eleven -ounce rod, with a flying-fish baited tuna hook. 

' In a week's fishing with W. B. Sharpe twelve of these big fish were 
taken. Colonel Dorsey landed eight, the individual world's record catch 
of swordfish, and also the added record of having caught the five largest 
of this species ever taken by one angler. His largest fish scaled two 
hundred and forty-nine povrnds. Mr. Sharpe caught four — a two hundred 
and sixty-pound fish, the heaviest of the take, being landed by him. 
Four of the fish weighed over two hundred and fifty pounds each. 

' The Santa Catalina swordfish is described as long and slender in 
body, rarely running over three hundred pounds, the average weight being 
one hundred and fifty pounds, making the fish available as a rod and reel 
consideration. It is one of the most beautiful fish of the ocean waters, 
garbed in a purple coat of extraordinary brilliancy with broad, dark 
lateral stripes on its back and sides. 

' Its sharp sword is much shorter than that of its larger cousin, the 
common eastern swordfish, also found hi our coast waters. The weapon is 


Fig. 15. Sword Fish. 
Florida Sail Fish. Taken by A. M. Zabriskie, Port Chester, N.Y, p. 96. 


more of a poniard than a sword ; in fact, the fish has virtually two, as the 
lower jaw is also pointed, sharp and dangerous. A large black eye, silver 
belly, and royal purple back ; a wide crescent-shaped tail ; slender pec- 
torals and big tall dorsal, which rests in a sheath along its back ; is 
the make-up of as debonair a marine lanzknecht as ever swam the seas. 

' The swordfish is very pugnacious, some very extraordinary battles 
having been witnessed between these fish or in combat with other marine 
warriors. Data relating to the vicious nature of swordfish have been 
compiled, showing a list of boats and ships that have been damaged, 
rammed or even stmk by them, including injuries iaflicted upon human 

' The first fish caught towed the trolling launch ten miles to sea, 
turning the big boat around as if it had been a skifE. The longest fight 
was three hours and forty-five minutes ; the average time for gaffing 
the fish was one hour. One fish ran out nearly one thousand feet of fine, 
another one, supposed to be two hundred feet astern, broke water one 
hundred feet ahead, and in making the turn ran through the fine loop 
and made a knot. Another one, in fighting, turned, and the heavy wire 
leader cut him almost to the backbone. 

' A live, healthy tarpon wUl jump ten or twelve times. One of Colonel 
Dorsey's fish jumped fifty times, another one caught turned the trick 
forty-nine times. Many of these jumps were fifteen feet out of the water. 
Three fish hooked broke the line and got away. The two largest sword- 
fish taken off Catahna prior to the above catch weighed three hundred and 
ninety -two pounds, and three hundred and thirty-nine pounds. The big 
catch enabled Colonel Dorsey's boatman, Captain Danielson, to hold a 
tie for a high-hook boat for the season on swordfish.' 

All things considered, the swordfish. of Santa Catalina takes 
its place as the great spectacular game fish of the world. 




' First be the fisher's limbs compact and sound. 
With solid flesh and well-braced sinews bound ; 
Let due proportion every part commend. 
Nor leanness shrink too much, nor fat distend.' 

"I F we had lived in the time of Apollo we might have seen in the 
Jl. home of Diana, his sister goddess, at Pisa, a picture of 
S"eptune bringing a tuna as an offering to Jupiter, and ia many 
cities of the Mediterranean in olden times special votive offerings 
were made to the gods that the season's catch might be large. 
This is done to-day at Palermo, where the priest brings out the 
statue of the Virgin and bears it aloft, followed by the fishermen 
and their families. One of the festivals was called ' Thunnaeum,' 
and was a most elaborate pageant, the first tunny of the season 
being sacrificed to !N"eptune, the god of the sea. Among the 
ancient plays the ' Tunny Catcher ' of Sophron, who, doubtless, 
influenced Theocritus, was famous. And it was Menander, in 
whose play occur the lines : 

' And the disturbed and muddy sea which breeds 
The largest Tunnies.' 

"Which certainly have no analogy in fact as the big tunnies, 
at least to-day, prefer the clear and scintillating water of the open 

There are many references to the tunnies in the classics, in the 
fishiug idyls of various nations, and in the pastorals of the fishers. 
To-day at Santa Catalina, California, where the professional 
fishermen are Venetians, Genoese, or descendants of the old races 


of the Mediterranean and Aegean seas, they doubtless invoke good 
Inck, and the interest in the catch of the first tuna results, if not 
in the sacrifice of the fish to Neptune, in the accession of prizes 
offered by the Tuna Club for the first fish of the season, which 
arouses great excitement and rejoicing and telegraphing of the 
news to tuna anglers aU over America. 

I was fortunate, or unfortunate, according to the point of view, 
in taking the first tuna of the season one year, and was nearly 
sacrificed to Neptune and the sharks, as the fish capsized our 
boat and gave us a hard swim a mile offshore. My boatman, 
Jim Gardner, now Uving in England, saved my fish, and as I write, 
its big glass eyes scintillate and gleam on the wall of my study 
where I have sacrificed it to the honour of my courageous boatman, 
who not only followed me, but towed the tuna in a long swim. 

When in 1898 I succeeded, after years of experimenting in 
the Atlantic and Pacific, in landing a one hundred and eighty-three 
pound tuna with a sixteen-ounce rod and twenty-one strand line, 
with a breaking limit of twenty-four pounds, and the following day 
founded the Tuna Club of Santa Catalina Island, the fact was 
telegraphed over the world as an extraordinary exploit which 
marked an epoch in sea angling. This fish, which I believe was 
an exceptional tuna in the finest possible condition, towed the 
heavy yawl ten or more nules in four hours, and died in a flurry 
and fight which should have bought its release. But what was 
supposed to be the impossible had been accomplished, and the 
fine fish was taken ashore, photographed, mounted and given 
to my boatman. Tunas had been taken before, notably by 
Mr. W. Greer Campbell, but not very large ones, and this catch 
seemed more truly to approximate the class of tuna I had seen 
twenty years previous, hanging in Fulton Market, New York, 
weighing one thousand pounds. It had been caught in a net, 
or harpooned, and was the inspiration which resulted in the Tuna 
Club years later. 

The impossible had been accomplished, a new sport was born, 
and scores of anglers from various quarters of the globe appeared 



at the Island and tried conclusions mth this most uncertaia of 
all fishes, which appears to sail about the world on its tours of 
small fry devastation. In this year, 1898, the leaping tuna was 
so plentiful that it became a drug in the market. I have fished 
with a friend when each of us, including the boatman, played a 
fish at the same time. Again we would stop fishing, not being able 
to use the fish, and schools covered the smooth surface of the 
channel beating the water into foam. I held the coveted record 
a year, then Colonel C. P. Morehous, a townsman of Pasadena, 
and Vice-President of the Tuna Club, landed a two hundred 
and fifty-one pound tuna, which, in turn, created as much wonder 
as did the previous catch. Anglers came from all parts of the 
country, and thousands of dollars were expended in efforts to 
capture the Morehous pennant with its accumulated cups, medals 
and prizes. But a two hundred and sixteen-pound fish was the 
nearest approach to it, and the record still stands. In 1910 
Mr. J. K. L. Boss, of Montreal, succeeded after many trials in 
landing a monster tuna weighing nearly seven hundred pounds. 
He did not use the twenty-four thread Une, used in making 
records of the Tuna Club, hence his splendid catch did not affect 
the Tuna Club prizes. But he was made an honorary member 
of the club. In fact, Mr. Eoss's catch stands in a class by itself, 
and is the great and notable event in sea angling of the century 
with rod and reel, no matter how large the Une. A No. 39 line is a 
thread for such a monster fish. It was a delight, as president of 
the Tuna Club, to congratulate the clever and courageous angler 
who made history in Canadian waters in so strenuous a fashion 
for the anglers. Mr. Eoss wrote me : — 

' I appreciate very much indeed your congratulations on my landing a 
large tuna, and especially as you, above aU big game fishermen, know the 
hard work required to land one of these kings of the big game fish. It was 
also very kind of the Tuna Club to elect me an honorary member of your 
world's famous fishing fraternity, especially as I landed this fish with a 
heavier line than a number 24. I never, as you know, made any applica- 
tion for your Tuna Club prizes as I knew perfectly well about your number 
24 restriction, but as the Field and Stream of New York had no restrictions 


Fig. 16. Sword Fish (Xiphias). 

Santa Catalina Island Waters and Atlantic Ocean, ilany hooked, but none landed, with 
rod and reel. Scores of ships have been struck by these fish. p. 100. 


in regard to size of line I entered my tuna in this prize fishing contest. 

' In regard to your question as to whether I could have landed this 
fish with a ntimber 24-line, I do not think it could have been done, al- 
though I believe now that a three hundred to three hundred and fifty 
pounder can be landed on a 24-line provided he is well handled. 

' Next year I hope to try and land an Atlantic tuna on a 24-line. I 
shall have one of my rods set up with a 24-Iine and use the lighter line if 
I see a school of small tuna.' 

The tunas are tlie most uncertain and erratic of fishes. World 
wanderers, they come and go without any set rules. At Santa 
Catalina when the record was taken they were all caught prac- 
tically in the same locality between Avalon and Long Point, a 
distance of four miles, before the net fishermen drove them away. 
They drove the flying fish into the bay and could be found here 
any morning from June 15th to August 15th. Suddenly they 
changed, and for several years have neglected this locality, lying 
off the island to the southeast about six miles in what is called 
the ' doldrums ' — ^an offshore lee. Here they were taken at 
times with ease ; again they would ignore the angler and pass 
him by. At such time we would hear of them at Melbourne, or at 
San Clemente, or they would be taken off the New Jersey coast 
ten or twenty miles, devastating the food fish at the mouth of the 
St. Lawrence, or caught as tunny in the Mediterranean, invoked 
with processions and prayers. 

The leaping tuna, which I named on account of its leaps when 
feeding, not on the line, is one of several which Dr. David Starr 
Jordan, the eminent authority on fishes, now includes in the 
genus Thunnus. The leaping tuna, T. thynnus, is the largest. It 
is the horse mackerel of New England, the tunny of the Mediter- 
ranean, and is a giant cousin of the mackerel. It comes into 
Santa CataUna waters near shore in spring to spawn, and is taken 
with a No. 21-ltne, sixteen-ounce rod of split bamboo, ironwood 
or greenheart, and big reel of the Edwin Vom Hofe type, now so 
beautifully made that they compare with a watch in the nicety 
of their works. They hold six hundred feet of wet hne and have 



divers checks or brakes which the angler can ' set ' ; so it is but 
necessary to sit and hold on to the rod ; the reel is invulnerable. 
To this one can add the drag of Mr. Eabbeth of the Tuna Club, 
who has a clever device to still further handicap the game — ^a 
wonderful change from the first tuna reel of Vom Hofe I had. 
It had but one drag, and I might say I caught my big tuna, as did 
all anglers at the time, with my thumb, which was pressed upon 
a pad which in turn pressed upon the Une. This becomes 
arduous in four or ten hours, but by it the angler is in touch with 
every motion of the fish, and with this old-fashioned tackle 
members of the Tuna Club have played their game from one to 
twenty hours. 

To the deUcate line is attached a piano-wire leader longer 
than the fish, say seven feet, which may have a number of swivels. 
The hook is a ISo. 10/° ; the bait, the natural food of the tuna — 
the flying fish, eighteen inches long and weighing one pound and 
a half. This is hooked either in the lip or in such a manner that 
it wiU run naturally — a desideratum accomplished by using a 
fin-sinker and sewing up the mouth of the lure. Some anglers 
like the bait to whirl ; others would have it leap by using a kite, 
described elsewhere, while others again use a sled which carries 
the bait away from the boat and fifty or one hundred feet off the 
quarter. With such an outfit the tuna angler embarks in his 
comfortable twenty-foot eight- or ten-horse power launch. The 
latter is designed at the Avalon shipyards and meets all the 
requirements of this sport or swordfishing. It is broad and 
eminently seaworthy. The engine is amidships ; the wheel on the 
starboard side amidships, so the boatman, gaffer and engineer 
can sit with one hand on the wheel, the other on the clutch to stop 
and back or turn at the cry of ' strike ! ' The two anglers sit 
in the stern, facing it, holding their rods to the right and left. 
Some run at one speed ; some at another, depending upon what 
the anglers think desirable. 

The tuna when feeding is crazed, rushiag at full speed. At such 
times a school will cover miles of surface in their chase of a fly- 



ing fish. I have seen a flushed flying fish off San Clemente fly 
or soar (the wings do not beat, the fish being a typical biplane, 
having two sets of fins or wings) a quarter of a mile. During 
this soaring it touched the water with its twisting propeUor- 
Hke tail several times, never dropping and always two or three 
feet above the surface. Yet the tuna never lost sight of it in its 
long run. I was so certain of it that I told Dr. Pinchot and Mr. 
Stewart Edward White, who were with me, to keep their eyes on 
the flier at the finish and see the explosion. We all watched 
the extraordinary flight (?) around the fourth of a circle, when the 
imfortunate fish dropped, dead tired. A wave of white flocculent 
foam rose into the air as the racing tuna stopped, turned and 
seized it. There is no more splendid sight in the realm of strenu- 
ous angling than to see the tuna feeding. Up into the air he goes, 
ten or fifteen, or more, feet after a flying fish, perhaps catching 
it, more often hitting it, sending it whirling upward like a pin- 
wheel, catching it on the return. The leap thus made is a perfect 
and graceful curve. The tuna has been known, but very rarely, 
to leap when hooked, but I have never seen it. That it would 
leap in shallow water there is no doubt, but with a half mfle of 
deep-blue water below, the tuna plunges down, eternally down. 
The tuna is almost invariably underway when it strikes ; 
hence the angler is often thrown into a fever of alarm at the 
shrieking cUck and the fast-disappearing tine. How to stop 
without breaking the latter is the exact mathematical problem, 
and it was during the working out of this that ' tuna fever ' became 
a synonym of ' buck fever.' Many men would go to pieces and 
lose fish after fish, line and rod, before they could temper the 
pressure. Tunas are now taken from laimches, but I prefer the 
smaU boat, or should if I should try it again, as here the fish has 
fair play. I took my fish from a yawl, as did Colonel Morehous, and 
Mr. Eoss gave battle to his giant six hundred and eighty pounder, 
in l^ova Scotian waters, in a small dinghy with two men at the 
oars. The angler can sit in a small skiff and be towed by the 
launch. The boatman casts off at the strike and backs water, so 



the skiff is underway before the entire line is exhausted. This 
accomplished, the angler puts more strain on the brake, and that 
miracle of sea angling for tuna is seen — a fish towing a boat by a 
number twenty-one-thread line. 

Santa Catalina Island wiU always be the most attractive point 
for tuna angling as it is an ideal place. The summer climate is 
almost always cool and delightful. The island, sixty nules 
around, affords that desideratum, stm water like a lake, while 
the fleet of perfect angling boats, one hundred and fifty or more, 
and skilled boatmen trained for the work, and with high ideal 
for sport, render the locality extremely attractive to anglers. 
Again, if tunas are not biting there is always something to take 
its place, from following the big swordfish, white sea bass, yellow- 
tail, or the diversions of mountain climbing ia the Sierra CabrUlo 
of the beautiful and romantic island out in the Pacific, eighteen 
miles, yet within two hours saU of Los Angeles, a city of 600,000 
souls. Many Englishmen have visited this isle of summer, 
among them England's most distinguished sea angler, Mr. F. G. 
Aflalo, founder of the British Sea Anglers Society, of which 
Lord Desborough, well known in America as a sportsman, is 
president. Of this locality Mr. Aflalo says in his book, Swnset 
Playgrounds, that here ' is the finest sea fishing in the world.' 

If the true recital of all the tuna catches could be told it would 
make a fish story beyond belief when the size of the line and the 
rod is appreciated. Men have been towed from five to twenty- 
five, or more, miles in from five to twenty-four hours, and I well 
recall a fish of not over one hundred pounds that towed two of 
the best anglers of the island offshore many miles. They hooked 
the fish at about six o'clock in the morning near shore. Mr. 
E. L. Doran of the Tuna Club and I were cruising about five miles 
offshore at noon, to give some ladies a view of a school of sixty- 
foot whales, when we found the anglers practically exhausted. 
They could not move the fish, that was down one hundred feet 
or more, I volunteered to go aboard and relieve the boatman 
at the oars while he relieved the angler, Mr. Scudder of St. Louis. 


This was accepted, and as the whales had alarmed the ladies, 
Mr. Doran started to take them in, promising to retm-n and tow 
us in. For some time, in a rising sea, as we were now out in the 
channel, I attempted to keep the boat stern to the tuna, while 
the boatman reeled, or tried to reel. As Jim Gardner had not 
made any headway he retired, and Mr. Scudder took the oars, 
and I bent to the rod. 

Long before Mr. Scudder had, of course, given up any idea of 
receiving any credit for the catch, as according to the rules of the 
Tuna Club, the angler must have no assistance ; but we were all 
confident that we had a colossus, and agreed to fight it out with 
the rod. When I took the latter I could not move the fish an 
inch by reeling, so I gave twenty feet of line and the boat was 
moved ahead, I reeling quickly to start the fish, as, without 
question, it was pointed head-down and swimming against us, 
as a salmon will do. 

Hours passed until at six o'clock, twelve hours from the strike, , 
we were twelve miles from Avalon, headed for the mainland. 
Avalon was out of sight, the island began to grow dim, and it 
was evident that Doran could not find us. There was no par- 
ticular element of danger, though the boat was open — a common 
yawl, but a seaworthy craft ; but the delights of passing the 
night in a rough channel were not alluring, so we held a council 
of war. 

Mr. Scudder evidently was tired out, though he did not 
admit it. Jim looked as though he was worn to a ' frazzle,' to 
quote General Gordon, but he declared he was fit for a week yet, 
and that we could land the fish in the surf at San Juan Capis- 
trano, about twenty miles distant, on the mainland. As I had 
once been in that surf I did not enthuse. I was the freshest of the 
crew as I came into it last, but I was, while extremely reticent 
(to keep in line with my companions), well tired out, not being 
accustomed to rowing by the hour in a seaway. It began to 
grow dark ; the island looked like a purple tourmaline against a 
field of the cloth of gold. We could just see Doran's launch 



several miles away, hunting for us, but not going in the right 
direction. So we sat, lifted, tugged, pulled and tried honestly to 
land that tuna with a rod, then finally admitted that the tuna had 
us played to a standstill. 

I think the point that decided us to give up was the sudden 
suggestion by Jim, the boatman, that our friends on the island 
would think we were drowned, and all the launches of Avalon 
would turn out to hunt the channel. It was only a few weeks 
previous that Jim and I had been capsized a mile oflEshore, and to 
save our companion, who could not swim, we had left him on the 
bottom of the yawl to make the hard swim to our broken-down 
launch. Jim's wife was on the latter, and when the tima dragged 
him under water (he was still holding the fish) she thought he was 
drowning. In fact, all our wives were nervous when we went 
out for tuna. We were on the horns of a dilemma. No one 
wished to give up, but after another half hour, I, as the eldest, 
took the responsibility, and suggested a surrender. I gave Jim 
the rod, and as I lifted the line by hand, he reeled. The fish 
came up slowly, a dead weight ; but it came, and finally I had 
the tuna at the surface and Jim gaffed it and sM it in. 

It was thirteen hours, I think, since Scudder had hooked the 
fish, not far from the point of Avalon bay. iNo one spoke, mere 
words were inadequate. The fish was scarcely a hundred pounder. 
It evidently had died of heart failure within a few moments, and 
it was foul hooked. One hook was in the belly, another in the 
mouth, and the fish had been side on for thirteen or more hours. 
We tied a towel to an oar and held it aloft, and by a chance our 
friend Doran saw it, and eventually reached us and towed us 
in ; fortunately, as I doubt if we could have made it. We 
arrived at Avalon at nine o'clock to find a crowd awaiting the 
gigantic fish it was supposed we had hooked. Such is fisherman's 

No one can appreciate the remarkable heroic qualities of the 
tuna at its best unless they have known it under various con- 
ditions. For days and weeks I have dragged my bait over 


thousands of mighty tunas in the bay at Long Point, Santa 
Catalina, as smooth as a lake, but not a fish looked at my lure. 
Again I have, at a distance of three miles, seen this bay a verit- 
able maelstrom of spray, spume and silvery waves where bands 
of maddened tunas chased their prey — ^the flying fish — on to the 
sands. At such a time we pushed in at full speed, and in twenty 
minutes were in the midst of it : tunas in the air, tunas leaping, 
tunas skinmiing along the surface, tunas standing on their 
heads, lashing the water, while over the boat and under it went 
the crazed fliers, I or my companion endeavouring to manage 
our bending rods, at the same time dodging this way and that, to 
avoid being struck in the head (or glasses) by a flying fish. 
On one occasion a tuna flushed the flying fishes near the boat. 
Colonel Morehous, my companion, put both hands over his eyes, 
and as I dodged a flying fish not six inches from my face, another 
struck me in the neck nearly knocking me out of my seat and 
into the arms of our boatman, Jim Gardner. There was much 
laughter at these experiences, and to see scores of tunas in the 
air in a cloud of flying fishes, is one of the sights of a Ufetime. 

It almost seemed at times, in 1898, that the tunas came into 
Avalon to hunt us up. Mr. E. L. Doran, who has a record of 
eighteen tunas in one season, aU over one hundred pounds (none 
others are considered or recorded), and I were starting out one 
morning at four or five o'clock, and I had just joined my rod, 
when a school of tunas rushed in and the flying fishes began to 
soar in every direction. The tunas boiled alongside of the launch. 
We appeared to be seized with a ' tuna frenzy,' though laughing 
heartfly, and grasped our rods forgetting that we were still at 
anchor. A flying fish dropped almost into my lap ; I caught 
it and hooked it on and tossed it over when, as i£ by magic, 
the^bait was taken, both our rods and lines were smashed, and we 
sat in blank amazement at the suddenness with which the game 
had involved us. Collecting our rattled senses we pushed out 
and were shortly in the thick of the fight. 

If called upon to select the most skUful tuna angler I should 



say Mr. E. L. Doran. I have been with him on scores of fishing 
days just for the pleasure of seeing him, a very powerful man 
matched against these leviathans of the tribe. When he could 
not stop a tuna I generally estimated the fish at over six or seven 
hundred pounds. In 1898 fishes of the largest size were hooked 
and would have been landed if larger lines were used or the 
methods of to-day employed. Then, we fought the fish, pulled 
away from it, and endeavoured to fight it down by keeping at it. 
The method in vogue by many to-day is to puU up over a fish and 
get it before it realizes it is in trouble. Again the 1912 reels have 
numerous brakes and adjustments ; but all are fair, as the fish 
is a tremendous opponent. I have seen Mr. Doran attempt to 
stop a sounding fish from a one hundred and fifty-pound sktfE 
in which I had the oars, and the tuna nearly pulled the boat under 
water ; if the line had'not broken doubtless it would have done so. 

Such a tuna must have weighed eight hundred pounds, and 
I am confident that I have seen tunas alongside the launch that 
were ten feet in length. Such a fish, judging by those I have seen 
in I^ew England, must have weighed a Jihousand pounds. A 
nine hundred-pound fish was taken in a net in Monterey bay. 
Mr. Wood of the Tuna Club hooked and played a giant tuna seven 
hours, then gave up, and not one man in a thousand could have 
made the fight he did. Then his boatman, Harry Elms, a man 
in fine physical training, took the rod and played it another seven 
hours. When this fish was reeled in its massive tail came up 
first. The wire leader was wound about its body ; but it was the 
tail of a giant, a seven or eight hundred pounder. It broke 
away at the gaffing, and the next day a steamer passed a gigantic 
tuna dead on the surface, a fish that was estimated at eight 
hundred pounds. In any event, it fought two of the best men of 
Avalon for fourteen hours. 

No one should attempt this game unless in the best physical 
condition, and to see such a man play a big tuna at its best is like 
watching a gladiatorial contest. 

As we have seen, the tuna is a world-wide roamer. It has 


Mi:]:^'>w ^ 

Fig. 17. 

Leaps of the Santa Catalina Sword Fish on the Line 

1. Leaving the Water. 2. Further Out. 3. A Long Rush on its Tail. 4. Coming at 
the Boat. 5. A Long Rush. 6. The Rise. 7. Coming at the Boat. Photographs by 

Captain Danielson, Captain Michaelis and P. V. Reyes. 

p. 108. 


been taken ten miles off the New Jersey coast, and off the coast 
of Spain and Portugal, and should be found off the English coast, 
as it is known to have been taken in the Lofodon Islands. The 
reason that Santa Catahna Island and San Clemente have become 
the most popular localities for this sport lies in the fact that 
perfectly smooth water is assured, yet twenty miles at sea. Mr. 
Aflalo failed to catch tuna at Madeira as the sea was too rough ; 
again there were no proper boats. The professionals anchored 
their heavy craft — a condition impossible. It is possible to take 
many gigantic fishes with the rod and reel, but to bring this with- 
in the limitations of sport the angler must have conditions that 
are favourable, so that the contest will be a pleasure, not a 
battle with the elements when playing a fish. 

As these lines are written, I read in the Fishing Gazette of 
London, of December 14, 1912, that Mr. Mark Bolt of Poole, 
Dorset, with a companion, Mr. Fred Brown, captured a seven 
hundred and twenty-eight pound tuna in Poole Harbour on 
November 16. The tuna was seen coming up the channel at a 
rapid rate of speed, but soon ran aground on a mud bank and was 
caught, and photographed, the picture published by Mr. E. B. 
Marston, with a description of the fish from the Weymouth Tele- 
gram whose editor does me the honour to quote me as an author- 
ity. I shall not be surprised to learn that Mr. Holcombe, Mr. 
Sterne, or Mr. Mallett, or some of the British Sea Anglers Society 
members, who know the dehghts of Ballycotton, will soon dis- 
cover some tuna ground off the west coast of Ireland. 

The yearly records * at the Tuna Club since tuna angling be- 
came a sport are as follows : 

Largest Leaping Tuna (Thunmis thynnus). 

C. F. Holder, Pasadena, Cal., season 1898 . . . 183 pounds. 
Col. C. P. Morehous, Pasadena, Cal., season 1899 . 251 ,, 

1 Hundreds of tunas under one hundred pounds have been caught 
but they are not recorded. The Club pays no attention to Tunas under 
that weight, 



Gen. A. W. Barrett, Los Angeles, Cal., season 1900 
Mrs. E. N. Dickerson, New York, N.Y., season 1901 
Ernest E. Ford, Alhambra, Cal., season 1902 
Col. John E. Steams, Los Angeles, Cal., season 1902 
Gen. A. W. Barrett, Los Angeles, Cal., season 1904 
P. S. O'Mara, Salt Lake City, season 1909 . 
L. G. Murphy, Converse, Lid., season 1910 . 
C. B. Stockton, Los Angeles, Cal., season 1911 

164 pounds. 








Labgest Yellow-fin Tuna {Thunnus macroptertis). 
Over 50 pounds. 

Arthur Jerome Eddy, Chicago, HI., season 1906 

E. J. Polkinhom, Toreon, Mexico, season 1907 

F. T. Newport, Arcadia, season 1911 . 

60 pounds. 

[The tuna fishing has been nearly ruined by the promiscuous netting 
of market-men. But in 1913 the Tuna Club secured the passage of a 
law that was signed by the Gtovemor of Cahfomia, recognizing three 
miles offshore of this island as a spawning-ground and stopping all 
netting. This ended a fight of twenty years standing and wiU result 
in the return of the tuna and the increase of all the great game fishes 
of California.] 




' Vext with the puny foe, the tunnies leap, 
Flounce in the stream, and toss the mantling deep ; 
Bide over the foamy seas, with torture rave, 
Bound into the air and dash the smoking wave.' 


THE leaping tuna, that attains a weight of thirteen hundred 
pounds and travels the seas of the world, is in a class by 
itself ; but it has numerous relatives, which if not so large, range 
up to one hundred pounds and give the angler the most exciting 
of sports. It has been found that the government island of San 
Clemente, and the island of Santa Catalina, off Los Angeles 
county, California, some twenty miles, are the spawning grounds 
of aU these tunas, and there is a movement on foot to have them 
set aside as fish refuges, so that the nets of the professional fisher- 
men shall not interfere with the spawning, and the valuable 
supply of food fish be secured for aU time. In July, August and 
September the waters within the three-mile limit are filled with 
spawn, the eggs of countless fishes, preyed upon by sea birds of 
many kinds, showing that prolific Nature has provided for the 
great drain upon her resources.* 

Among the lesser tunas is the one known as the yellow-fin 
tuna (Thunnus maculata), for many years accredited to Japan 
and Hawaii ; but it has been coming to Santa OataHna in greater 
or less numbers for centuries. This fish has all the habits of the 
leaping tuna, except that it plays more on the surface, does not 
sidk so much. In weight it ranges to about sixty or seventy 
pounds, the record being sixty pounds, by Arthur J. Eddy. 

1 See footnote p. 110. 



It is a regal fish in appearance, very sociable in its ways and 
habits, coming alongside with small game when ' chummed ' up, 
yet often as clever as a trout in avoiding capture. This tuna 
is not so strictly a sulker, makiag off on the surface when hooked 
at such speed that unless the angler can get the launch under way 
and foUow, all the hne will be taken. This tuna is said by Dr. 
Jordan to be originally from Japan, and it is known at the 
Hawaiian Islands where the Japanese call it Shibi. 

I recall no more radiant or beautiful spectacle than when fish- 
ing a few rods off the south poiat of Avalon bay in mid-summer. 
From April to iN'ovember this is a summer sea. The water is 
an intense blue, and on the day in question it was as calm as a 
lake. We were drifting, some four or five boats, the boatmen 
tossing over dead sardines to attract the game. The ocean was 
so clear that one could see down into its heart a hundred feet 
where the brilliant beams from the sim illumined the dainty, 
classic shapes of jelly fishes. Here were lavender comets, with 
trains twenty and thirty feet in length pulsatiag along ; clouds 
of SappMrinae — minute crustaceans marvellous in their colours, 
while countless small and elegant shapes were seen standing out 
vividly against the deep blue of the sea. 

As the sardines sank, up from the depths, as though sum- 
moned by Gulnare herseU, came the tunas, the yeUow-fin, smaller 
allies, as bonitos, or Uttle txmas, and like gems, flashing across the 
range of vision, the extraordinary long-fin tuna, TJiunnus alalonga, 
whose pectoral fin is nearly as long as the body. 

These fishes, popularly known as albacores, were in countless 
numbers, and so tame that one could pick his game, by jerking 
away the lure from the smaU ones, and allowing the twenty poun- 
ders to take it. By impaUng a sardine on a gaff hook I lowered it a 
foot beneath the surface and easily hooked a fish, and, doubtless, 
cotdd have fed them from my hand. In general appearance this 
tuna bears a close resemblance to the leaping tuna, and if the 
side fins are cut off, the resemblance is very marked. Seen in 
the water, the back is blue, the ventral surface clear silver. 


Fig. 18. The World's Record Tuna. 
The Largest Tuna Ever Taken with Rod and Line (680 lbs.). Mr. 

J. K. L. 

Ross of Montreal, 
p. 112. 


They attain a weight of sixty pounds, and are hard and vigorous 
fighters, never giving up until gaffed, affording a most exciting 
play. The only drawback is, they are too ready as a rule to 
bite, and thirty or forty pounders will give the average angling- 
novice more exercise than he cares for. 

Everything about the long-fin tima betokens speed, aggressive, 
power and strength, and few game fishes afford a harder fight 
on the nine-ounce rod and nine-thread line the Tuna Club re- 
commends. The ubiquitous Japanese have entered the field, 
and the fish is now canned as Blue Tuna. The method of taking 
the fish is extraordinary, at least to the American angler who is 
handicapped by a desire to live up to the ethics of the highest 
standard of sport. The Japanese have a fleet of fine thirty-foot 
power launches. On deck is a can containing sardines, which, 
are kept alive by continual replenishment of the water and 

Once on the ground, from one to five or six miles off Avalon, 
the trolling ground of the Tuna Club, in water as smooth as 
glass, the Japanese launch stops, the fisherman takes a bamboo 
rod about ten feet long in one hand, baits the short ten-foot Une 
with a live fish and tosses it over. In his other hand, the right, 
he takes a long bamboo which has a spade-like end, with which 
he splashes the water, throwing it at the struggling live bait. 

Exactly what the long-fin tuna of from twenty to thirty 
pounds thinks about this extraordinary performance we do not 
know, but the Japanese assumes that the tuna thinks a school 
of sardines are feeding, the single fish and the repeated splashes 
carrying out the delusion. Be this as it may, I trolled around 
such a fisherman in May, 1912, for several hours, taking very few 
fish, while the Japanese was fast filling his boat. The moment 
a long-fin tuna struck, the Oriental dropped the ' splasher,' 
and hauled the fish in without ceremony, baited the hook, and 
presently had another tuna. 

The conclusion that the long-fin tuna is a very stupid fish 
does not detract from its fine qualities as a game fish. The Tuna 

8 lis 


Club recognizes this and offers many prizes for exceptional fish 
taken on Kght tackle. The long-fin tuna is one of the most 
valued fishes of this region as it can neariy always be relied on, 
and often can be taken every month in the year. 

These fishes have a very wide range in warm or moderate 
seas the world over, migrating north and south, or in and out 
from some mysterious home, after the manner of birds, leaving 
the angler this puzzle to solve : that if cold weather is supposed 
to drive away certain fishes from certain localities why are they 
frequently brought up from regions that are many times colder ? 
The answer may be that game fishes foUow the vast sardine, 
anchovy and herring schools. But why do these small fishes go 
•down into icy depths, as they are known to in California, where 
they are often found in the stomachs of the red rock-fish or 
groupers which live in water six hundred or one thousand feet 
deep ? 

Long-fin tunas have been taken in the San Clemente channel, 
CaUfornia, that weighed one hundred pounds. The fish does not 
approach the surf of the mainland, hence must be followed in 
deep blue water in mid-channel, and is taken in such number 
at Santa Catalina because the island is an isolated peak, rising 
out of water from a half to one mile in depth ; hence there is deep 
water at the very shores. The Tuna Club long-fin tuna or 
albacore records is sixty-six pounds five ounces, taken by 
Frank KeUy, Goshen, Ind. The records by years are as follows : 

Labgest Albacore (Thunniis alakmga). 

Chas. W. MLUer, Denver, Colo., season 1901 . 
Ernest FaUon, Los Angeles, Cal., season 1902 
John Van Liew, Los Angeles, Cal., season 1903 
Stewart Ligram, Los Angeles, Cal., season 1904 
I. C. PUlster, Denver, Colo., season 1905 
iQustave J. Frickman, N. Y. Gty, season 1906 
^A. B. Cass, Los Angeles, Cal., season 1907 . 
^C. R. Sturdevant, Pasadena, Cal., season 1908 

^ Taken under tackle specifications of Light Tackle Class (p. 287). 

. 30 pounds 

. 35 

. 38 

. 46 

. 48 

. 38i 

. . 41i 

. 43i 


ij. W. Mclntyre, Catlin, 111., year 1908 . . . 65^ pounds. 

S. A. Guy, Shreveport, La., season 1909 . . . 43| „ 

1 W. N. McMillan, Nairobi, E. Africa, winter season 1909-10 50 „ 

^H. A. Omson, Los Angeles, Cal., season 1910 . . 37| ,, 

^C. R. Guertler, New York, winter season 1910-11 . 51 J „ 

iR. H. Hempthrump, Bloomington, 111., season 1911 . 40 „ 

IVank KeUey, Goshen, Ind., winter season 1911-12 . 66 lb. 5 oz. 

Closely related to the albacore are the bonitoes, two of which 
are found in American waters : one, Sarda cMlensis, an important 
game fish of the Pacific coast. The bonito, Sarda sarda, is a 
most attractive fish, well known in the Atlantic, offshore, and 
in the Mediterranean Sea. Professor G. Brown Goode says of it : 

' One of these fishes is a marvel of beauty and strength. Every line 
iu its contour is suggestive of swift motion. The head is shaped like 
a minie bullet, the jaws fit together so tightly that a knife-edge could 
scarcely pass between, the eyes are hard, smooth, their surfaces on a 
perfect level with the adjoining siuiaces. The shoulders are heavy 
and strong, the contours of the powerful masses of muscle gently and 
evenly merging into the straighter lines in which the contour of the body 
slopes back to the tail. The dorsal fin is placed in a groove into which 
it is received, like the blade of a clasp-knife in its handle. The pectoral 
and ventral fins also fit into depressions in the sides of the fish. Above and 
below, on the posterior third of the body, are placed the httle finlets, each 
a little rudder with independent motions of its own, by which the course 
of the fish may be readily steered. The tail itself is a crescent-shaped oar, 
without flesh, almost without scales, composed of bundles of rays, flexible 
yet almost as hard as ivory. A single sweep of this powerful oar doubtless 
suffices to propel the bonito a hundred yards, for the polished surfaces of 
its body can ofier little resistance in the water. I have seen a common 
dolphin swimming round and round a steamship advancing at the rate 
of twelve knots an hour, the efiort being hardly perceptible. The wild 
duck is said to fly seventy miles in an hour. Who can calculate the speed 
of the bonito ? It might be done by the aid of the electrical contrivances 
by which is calculated the initial velocity of a projectile. The bonitoes 
in our sounds to-day may have been passing Cape Colony or the Land 
of Eire day before yesterday.' 

This fish is represented at Santa Catalina by Sarda cMlensis, 
the skipjack. UnHke the Atlantic species, it comes inshore at 

^ Taken under tackle specifications of Light Tackle Class. 



the islands to spawn. I have anchored my boat to a rock in 
a Kttle cove at Santa Catalina and had my boatman toss over 
' chum,' — or ground bait, and in a short time had these beautiful 
fishes all about the boat. When I cast for them -with a light 
rod, they would come up out of the deeps Kke meteors and take 
the fish bait with a rush, affording delightful sport almost entirely 
on the surface. The Tuna Club record is a twenty-pound fish, 
taken by Miss Edith Holder in an hour and a quarter on a nine- 
oimce rod. 

There is a group of fishes known as little tunnies {Gymno- 
sarda), well represented in southern CaUfomian waters. There 
are two species, both fine game fishes. One is G. pelamis, found 
in all semi-tropical seas, not common ; yet at Santa Catalina it 
is the common catch in spring, up to fifteen or even twenty pounds. 
It is a hard-fighting fish, highly appreciated by the Tuna Club, 
that distinguishes it from Sarda cMlensis, or skipjack, by calling 
it the oceanic bonito. It attains a length of two feet, and is 
easily recognized by the black stripes that sweep down from 
the back near the finlets obHquely forward, while in the Sarda 
cMlensis the stripes are on the lower surface. The skipjack is 
chubby, thick-set, a humming-bird in its wonderful iridescence, 
wMle the oceanic bonito is long and fairly slender. Both are 
game fishes of the very first class. 

If the reader has good luck when fishing near Malta he should 
take a little tunny, G. dUeterata, very much like the above. It is 
also taken near Barbados and iN'assau. I have never seen it in 
CaUfomia, but have taken it off Cuba in the Gulf Stream. A 
hard-fighting little fish. With these might be mentioned the 
Frigate mackerels, Auxis, found in many warm seas ; a world- 
wide wanderer, like the big tuna. On the Pacific coast the 
Chub mackerel, the Houttuyn of the Japanese {Scomber japonicus), 
is taken with rod and reel. 


Fig 19. 

A Morning with Long-fin Tuna (Thunnus alalonga), 9-ounce Rod. Mr. A. L. Beebe, 
Avalon Bay, California. 

1. The Start from Tuna Club. 2. Gaffing the Tuna. 3. Weighing It. 4. Having the 
Picture Taken. p jjg 



The Judge : For two years you men have fished together peaceably, 
and yet you wrangle over this fish. 

The Sportsman : You see, your honour, this is the first time we have ever 
caught one. j 

Translantic Tales. 

TJTNA angling, for big tunas, wMch I suggested back in the 
seventies, tried off the Maine coast in 1875, and successfully- 
demonstrated at Avalon, California, in 1887, has been carried 
around the world as a great and fascinating sport. The Tuna Club 
established its seventy-odd records under circumstances that 
challenged admiration. It accumulated prizes, cups, medaUions, 
until there seemed no end — and still the club record of two hundred 
and fifty-one pounds with a twenty-one thread line remains un- 
beaten. Every season sees anglers going everywhere to excel 
this, fortunes have been expended, anglers have journeyed from 
England, Scotland, Germany and Prance ; British and American 
anglers have gone to Madeira, the Azores, Sicily, Australia, in 
an effort to defeat the record. 

In California the tuna is more or less an old story, and anglers 
are devoting themselves to the newly discovered game fish — the 
CataUna swordfish, one hundred of which have been recorded 
at the Tuna Club this year, ranging up to the two hundred and 
ninety pounder, taken by T. McD. Potter, aU with rod and reel. 
But to the stranger within the CaUfornian gates the tuna is the 
piscatorial pUce de resistance, and all on account of its uncertainty. 
The tuna is the antipode of the trout in size, but in uncertainty, 
view the word as you will, it ranks with the smaller fish. One 



year it will sweep the seas. I have taken, with a friend, three in a 
few hours, and we stopped because it was slaughter. The follow- 
ing year a friend wrote me that the tunas were in Australia 
■ (they certainly were not in California). ;N"ow, as I write, they are 
foaming not a mile from the Tuna Club, but no man can hook 
one, and for a number of years the catch has been limited and 
vacillating, but followed with unabated energy by the lovers 
of sea angling everywhere. 

To row or motor over a vast school of tunas which scorn the 
hook has resulted in some ingenious inventions. One, called the 
' tuna sled,' looks like a diminutive sled and is devised to push 
the bait away from the boat that it is following and into an 
undisturbed field, but the most spectacular scheme appeared 
during the summer, and is shown in the accompanying photo- 
graphs, taken for this volume by Peter V. Eeyes of Avalon, 

Avalon, the town of Santa Catalina Island, in summer is an 
angling community of six thousand or eight thousand persons, 
a rendezvous for yachts, and this year even the old habitues of 
the place were astonished to see anglers flying kites at sea. 
Some were just plain kites, others hydroplanes, or plain box 
affairs, but they ail went up into the air, first high above the 
launch, then ahead or astern, as the case may be. It did not 
take long for the progressive curiosity of the public to discover 
what it meant, though every effort was made at first to conceal 
it. The kites had nothing to do with kite flying as a sport. 
They were ' tuna kites ' or ' tunaplanes,' intended to simulate 
the action of a man in an aeroplane lifting his bait and making 
it leap from wave to wave, in imitation of a living flying fish. 
The idea originated in the mind of Captain George Farnsworth, 
one of the island boatmen, who has gaffed and caught scores of 
the largest fish of the region on tackle so light as to astonish the 

Two years ago when I returned from a ten days' trip with 
Dr. Gifford Pinchot, to San Clemente, the large outside island 


of the Santa Catalina group, we located a big school of leaping- 
tunas about five miles to the southeast of Santa Catalina, and 
for several days endeavoured to take one, a most soul-grilling^ 
and exasperating proceeding when the fish will not bite. And 
these big tunas would not ; yet there they were, ten thousand,, 
perhaps fifty thousand, Ijdng exactly in the right place, the off- 
shore lee of Santa Catalina, a region the Tuna Club anglers call 
the ' doldrums,' also famous for the beautiful dolphin. There was 
no wind, but a long swell, and when a wave passed over the school,, 
which was lying just below the surface, we could see the splendid 
shapes of the giant tunas standing out against the sapphire- 
blue of the Santa Catalina Chaiinel, hke gems. There they were,, 
tunas of vast size, one of which would have carried off the More- 
hous record and several thousand dollars' worth of cups, medals,, 
rods, gold, silver and diamond trophies which have been accu- 
mulating in the Tuna Club and offered by enthusiastic anglers, 
ever since I took the first very large tuna, one hundred and eighty- 
three pounds, after a battle of four hours and a tow of twelve 
grilling miles. 

Nothing more exasperating could be imagined as we sailed 
and re-saUed over them, now slowing down, now at full speed, only 
to see them sink, then rise, as we cleared the school, rise so near 
the surface that it was boiling with the movement of ten thousand 
fins. I had landed many tunas in former years when they hunted 
us in the bay, and did not fish, so that my companion would have 
all the chances. 

I devoted myself to the task of trying to devise some new 
scheme. While I was doing this and not accomplishing anything^ 
and Dr. Pinchot was fishing, holding his rod with the patience of 
one described as smiling at grief from the top of a monument, I 
noticed Mr. Hooper and Mr. Murphy trying to imitate the leap 
of a flying fish by jerking the big eighteen-inch bait (a flying fish) 
from the top of a swell, letting it faU with a crash just as a flying^ 
fish does fall, with a splash, generally, to be grabbed at by the 
tuna which had been following it like an avenging itfemesis for 



perhaps half a mile. They did it very cleverly, and it reminded 
me of the time in 1900 I had in perfectly smooth water when, 
with a two-handed cast, I dropped my bait in front of the leader of 
a school and hooked it. N'othing is more enticing to the average 
tuna than this. If anything is the matter with a fish, it seems 
to madden all predatory fishes and the wounded victim is at 
once seized. 

But all the skill and cleverness of the Tuna Club experts, 
Mr. Hooper and Mr. Murphy, did not, at least that day, induce 
the tunas to bite. 

The tuna kite or tunaplane, was devised later by Captain George 
Parnsworth to meet this situation, and to reUeve the angler from 
the exercise of jerking a bait eighteen inches long and weighing 
over a pound from wave to wave. The method of using the 
tunaplane is well illustrated in the accompanying Eeyes pictures. 
When the launch reaches the ground, the angler, who sits in a 
comfortable chair faciug the stern, takes up his sixteen-oimce, 
seven-foot rod, and the boatman, who has run the twenty-one 
thread of strand line through the agate guides, slips the line 
through a ring in the tunaplane or kite. An abxmdanee of line 
is pulled through, then it is fastened to a leader, or trace, of piano 
wire about seven feet long, connected by several swivels ; the 
hook, a number ten, is baited with a flying fish at least eighteen 
inches long and weighing possibly a pound and a quarter. This 
is the natural or most common prey of the tuna, and it is hooked 
in the jaw, or up through the body and lashed or sewed so that it 
will tow naturally. This accomplished, the boatman starts his 
engine, the launch moves ahead and the boatman gradually pays 
out line and gets his tunaplane up into the air as shown. As it 
rises, the angler unreels, or slacks away, and soon the machine is 
forty or fifty feet in air and astern. If the launch is going 
against the wind, the boatman can now either hold the tunaMte 
or make the line fast while the angler takes his seat and waits 
for the strike, the launch running along slow or fast, according 
to the desire of the skipper. The game is one of trolling or 


Fig. 21. A Morning's Catch of Black Sea Bass (four rods), Santa 

1. Island, California. Average, 250 lbs. Photo by Reyes, p. 120. 


towing tlie fifty, seventy-five or more feet of the line behind you. 

Usually the line extends directly out astern,-but ilpw we per- 
ceive that it goes up into the air to the tunakite, then drops to the 
ocean. The reader will now see the resemblance to the aeroplane 
or hydroplane. Instead of fishing from one of them and so being 
able to jerk the line along, a smaller contrivance is con- 
ceived, and the angler in the boat lifts the bait, using the aerial 
tunakite as a pulley, or fulcrum, as shown. We see the launch 
going against the wind. ^Captain Farnsworth stands holding the 
line of the kite, which he has on a reel, and the angler has just 
given his line a jerk, with the result that the bait is Ufted, more 
or less naturally, a foot or two above the water, and by the onward 
movement of the launch carried ahead. We can see the bait, 
just above the horizon, being held aloft by the kite. So natural 
is this leap that a friend who uses it wrote me that ' it sets nearly 
aU fishes — ^long-fin tunas and others crazy,' as it jumps, or appears 
to jump along the surface. This works equally weU in coming 
down the wind. Here the tunakite is shown drifting down the 
wind or going with the launch. Captain Farnsworth is at the 
wheel and holding the kite string, while the angler is seen ' giving 
the butt,' or throwing his^tip back, which lifts the flying fish bait 
clear and drops it with a splash, as plainly seen in the immediate 
foreground just ahead of the boat, but really one hundred and 
fifty feet to the right. Mr. Eeyes, who took the picture, is ia 
another launch, which is out of sight. 

Several tunas and big swordfishes have been taken in this 
way. If a tuna seizes the leaping fish the boatman stops the 
launch, a jerk disconnects the tunakite, which is hauled in or 
goes adrift, and the angler is free to play his fish. 

It is obvious that this is ' machinery,' and the question may 
be raised that the Tuna Club, which has hedged about this sport 
so many restrictions that the anglers shall have no aid in any 
way, has taken a step backward. If the boatman so much 
as touches rod or line during the catch, or if the rod should break, 
the Club refuses to recognize it, and boatman and angler 



are on honour, so far as this is concerned. After being so parti- 
cular this may be considered a step backward by some conscien- 
tious anglers, but personally I should not look at it in this light. 
If any one can tafce a one-himdred-pound tuna with rod and reel 
single-handed with this device he has earned his fish. Again, 
it is well to remember the leaping tuna is not the tarpon. It is 
more in line with Atlantic Coast salmon and other fishes extremely 
difficult to catch, testing a man's patience, integrity, his physical 
and mental strength. Since 1898 but about seventy men from 
all over jthe world have succeeded in taking a leaping tuna of over 
one hundred pounds with the Tuna Club equipment, during which 
time thousands have tried it and failed. These men constitute 
the voting members of the Tuna Club, and so remarkable is it, 
that I append the names of this piscatorial roll of honour : 

Alden, Dr. B. F. 
Beebe, A. L. . 
Boschen, Wm. C. 
Bowerman, C. C. 
Brewster, E. H. 
Brode, A. 0. 
Bumham, Wm. H 
1 Campbell, W. Greer 
Chamberlain, C. W. 
Comi, C. G. . 
Comiell, M. J. 
Comior, J. C. . 
Coxe, J. A. 
Dickerson, E. N. 
Doran, E. L. . 
EarlaclifEe, H. St. A 
Eddy, A. Jerome 
Elliott, Eugene 
Ford, E. E. . 
Gaines, H. D. 
GoodfeUow, W. S. 
Griswold, F. Gray 
Gunn, Geo. E. 
Harding, F. L. 

San Francisco, Cal. 
Mystic, Conn. 
New York City. 
Monrovia, Cal. 
San Diego, Cal. 
Los Angeles, Cal. 
Orange, Cal. 
Long Beach, Cal. 
Boston, Mass. 
Elkhart, Ind. 
Los Aageles, Cal. 
Colorado Springs, Colo. 
Los Aageles, Cal. 
New York City. 
Los Angeles, Cal. 
Santa Barbara, Cal. 
Pasadena, Cal. 
Los Angeles, Cal. 
Alhambra, Cal. 
New York City. 
East Oakland, Cal. 
New York City. 
Salt Lake, Utah. 
Philadelphia, Pa. 

^ Took first tuna with rod and reel at Avalon. 



Holder, Chas. F. 
Hunt, Jr., Wm. M. 
Irvine, Jas. 
Jones, W. B. . 
Judah, E. G. . 
Keeney, Jas. A. 
KendaU, B. O. 
Kingsley, D. P. 
Kirkpatrick, Dr. J. L. 
Macomber, A. Kingsley 
Manning, T. S. 
Morehous, Col. C. P. 
Munn, A. T. . 
Murphy, L. G. . 
Murry, F. B. . 
Newport, Fred T. 
Oghom, W. H. 
Palmer, Dr. Edwin 0. 
Polkinhom, E. J. 
Potter, Thos. McD. 
Pilsbury, Jr., Geo. E. 
Rabbeth, F. J. 
Reed, F. H. . 
Rice, H. C. . 
Rider, Frank V. 
Rotherham, B. N. 
Roberts, Jesse 
Shaver, Roy F. B. 
Shields, A. M. 
Smith, Allen H. 
Steams, Col. Jno. E 
Stockton, C. B. 
Streeter, L. P. 
Twist, Charles G. 
Tyler, A. E. . 
Tyson, Geo. 
Warren, Smith 
WiUams, Ben 
Wiltsee, E. A. 
Wright, C. Irving 

Pasadena, Cal. 
Los Angeles, Cal. 
San Francisco, Cal. 
Houston, Texas. 
Los Angeles, Cal. 
Los Angeles, Cal. 
Pasadena, Cal. 
New York City. 
Los Angeles, Cal. 
Pasadena, Cal. 
Avalon, Cal. 
Pasadena, Cal. 
Los Angeles, Cal. 
Converse, Ind. 
Cincinnati, 0. 
Hollywood, Cal. 
Torreon, Coah., Mexico. 
Los Angeles, Cal. 
Los Angeles, Cal. 

Oklahoma City, Okla. 
Los Angeles, Cal. 
Pasadena, Cal. 
Pomona, Cal. 
Philadelphia, Pa. 
Los Angeles, Cal. 
San Francisco, Cal. 
Glasgow, Scotland. 
Los Angeles, Cal. 
Los Angeles, Cal. 
Chicago, 111. 
Santa Ana, Cal. 
New York City. 
Boston, Mass. 

Los Angeles, Cal. 

Los Angeles, Cal. 

San Francisco, Cal. 

Berkeley, Cal. 

It is an expensive pastime to follow, as thousands do follow 
it, the kind of men who want a tiger, an elephant, a lion, a 



bxtffalo ; and the leaping tuna of one hundred and eighty or two 
hundred pounds is not only in this class, but ahead of them, so 
far as the physical exertion is concerned in taking them. I have 
an acquaintance who wears what he calls his ' three-thousand 
dollar button.' It is the blue button of the Tuna Club given 
members who take a one-hundred-pound tuna. Its real value 
was not over two or three dollars, but it really cost him three 
thousand dollars. Another angler has, according to his own 
estimate, spent ten thousand dollars and has not landed a oue- 
hundred-pounder yet. Izabu is not with him. Others have 
taken one or two tunas on the first trial. If the tuna could be 
taken at any time and always found when wanted, it would be 
no honour to catch one. It is the uncertainty, the fickleness, 
the cleverness in not biting, that places trout, sahnon and other 
great game fish in the front rank. It is nothing for some men to 
kUl a few salmon that cost them over one thousand dollars for a 
few a year, and so it is with the leaping tuna. The cleverest 
angler knows nothing about the tuna. He knows that it is due 
in June and that it may disappear some time in August, or it 
may stay until October in some years. It will carry off everything 
— ^Unes, tackle, towing boats ; playing men almost to their 
death in bouts from sixteen to twenty hours ; setting men with 
red blood in their veins wild — ^to suddenly disappear for a year, 
becoming coy for several years, to come in some day imheralded 
out of the unknown, to play havoc with patient anglers. It is 
this uncertainty, this impossibleness, that fascinates anglers, 
and always will, which brings them year after year from England 
and France and almost every European country. Hence, 
when xmdergoing such inroads on purse and patience, it would 
seem that the ' tunakite or plane,' to imitate the leap of the 
stricken flying fish, should not be objected to, nor shall I per- 
sonally object some day to see an airship come along, lift a launch 
and shoot up into the air for a bird's-eye view of the game. It is 
well in these days not to be surprised at anything, and to cultivate 
the so-called stoicism of the American Indian. 

Fig. 20. 
Leaping Tuna, Southern California Islands. Taking them with a kite — imitating leap 
of Flying Fish. Photo by Reyes. p. 124. 



' But why, good fisherman, 
Am I thought meet for you, that never yet 
Had angling rod cast towards me 1 ' 

Moll Cutpurae {1611). 

THE ardent trout lover or angler is rarely a devoted sea angler. 
If pressed for a reason lie will often teU you tliat the joys 
of scenery, the radiant streams and meadows that reach away 
to the sky-line, the flowers and Waltonian diversifications, are 
entirely absent. 

This may be true in some localities, but not in aU, as the sea 
has its gardens, its vales of peace, its meadows rich with algae, 
its deep and abysmal canons, its mountains and wealth of glorious 
colours. In fact, as I close my eyes and pass in review the scenes 
I have observed beneath the sea on the Florida reefs and on the 
slopes of the great island mountains of Santa CataUna and San 
Clemente, I can hardly conceive of anything more beautiful in 
the fairest gardens of the land from California to England and 
again to Mortola of Sir Thomas Hanbury on the Eiviera, which I 
hold in delightful remembrance. 

Sea and land gardens are equally beautiful, but so entirely 
different that they cannot be compared, and I confess that in 
waters where there is nothing but fish, and nothing to see, mere 
fishing palls on the imagiaation. 

To me, one great charm of sea angUng lies in the fact that 
in pursuit of the game the angler is led iato the fairest and most 
beautiful oceanic regions, where Nature is always at her best. 



The very earliest •writers and dreamers recognized this. The 
fisher eclogues found place in the works of Sannazaro before 
1503, and this author gave his contemporaries pastorals like those 
of Virgil, except that they were of the fishes, anglers and the 
sea. Theocritus gave us marine pastorals, and the Ihad abounds 
in descriptions of hfe afield and refers to angling. 

ISo waters are more beautiful than those of England if we 
remember the sea anemones of the pools and think of them as the 
animal flowers of the sea. This can be realized after a storm when 
the sea-wrack is piled upon the sands, and the gardens of the 
sea have been devastated. Every colour of the rainbow scintil- 
lates in the sunlight and tells the story of the fishes. 

Possibly in the semi-tropics, the water is clearer, at least it is 
smoother, and in Bermuda the angler is regaled with real gardens 
of the sea, inhabited by fishes which vie with the living flowers. 
For many years I Uved in the heart of a group of coral islands 
of the same character as Bermuda, in the Gulf near Havana — 
the Garden Key of the Tortugas group. Every day was devoted 
to angling of some sort or description, varied with studies of the 
reef, diving into its channels or wading along its streets and lanes 
of coral at low tide. I was always impressed by the self-evident 
fact that there were gardens of the sea, mountains covered with 
verdure, plains, prairies, plantations, and diversities only to be 
compared to those of the land. The colouring was particularly 
beautiful, especially off the coral reef as it merged into deeper 
water. Here the east wind sent a sea continually in, which had 
piled up a line of dead coral rock a mile or more in length, and 
bare at low tide — an island in embryo. Twenty or thirty feet 
out beyond this was a famous fishing ground for a large variety 
of fishes, which swam over a forest of radiant beauty. On calm 
days when the sleepy swell was just sufficient to sway the gor- 
gonian trees, I often drifted along the reef or waded out, waist- 
deep, and cast my lure of crayfish, sardine or mullet into the 
rialto of the fishes. 

The bottom was covered with a carpet of weed of hues which 


appeared to have been painted by the setting sun in deep reds, 
vermilion, pink, splashes of blue and yellow. From this grew, 
apparently, countless reticulated fans and plumes of brown, 
vivid golden-yellow, rose and lavender. These were gorgonias, 
cousins of the corals, and as they waved to and fro, bending in 
the mysterious inward rush of water, the change of tint and tone 
was kaleidoscopic and marvellous beyond description. Some 
of the fans resembling velvet, rose four feet from the bottom ; 
beneath them were flat branches of the leaf coral in browns or 
olives, taking countless shapes. Others were in the form of great 
mounds, or hollowed out like classic vases in which brilliant 
angel-fishes poised, or the gaily painted yellowtail or parrot-fish 

At such time the gulf, as far as the eye could reach, would be a 
sheet of glass, not a ripple disturbing its surface ; and moving 
out from the shore until the water was fifty or one hundred feet 
in depth, it was so clear, so crystaUine, that every object, even 
to the delicate reddish shells on the gorgonias, could be seen and 
the black echimi in the crevices, or the deeper black of the Cypreae. 
'No garden of the land had more beauties, while the mjTiads of 
fishes carried out the idea of birds as they moved to and fro. 

In various parts of the world large bass-Uke fishes are found 
which resemble bass in shape if in no other way. There were 
two dwellers in this garden of the gorgonias, of gigantic size ; 
one caUed the black grouper, the other the jewfish. One was a 
heavy logy giant, often found in deep holes and crevices ; the 
other, the black grouper, in mid-water. The jewfish might be 
called the hippopotamus of the sea, as individuals weighing one 
thousand pounds have been taken. The average is three or four 
himdred pounds, and the large specimens, while they cannot be 
classed as a game fish and are practically impossible to the man 
with the rod, on ahand-hne afford no little excitement. I have 
taken them while shark fishing, and believed I had a shark until 
the ponderous big-mouth creature came up the sands, the whole 
party on the line. 



We frequently fished for jewfish when watching for turtles 
on hot nights on the key beaches where every wave seemed to 
ignite and sent its lambent flames hissing up the sand. At Port 
Aransas and Galveston it is one of the sports to angle for jewfish 
with the rod at night along the pass — a vigorous and athletic 

The black grouper or m6ro de lo alto {Garruza nigrita) is another 
fish, and is taken weighing five hundred or more pounds. In its 
smaller weights, one hundred or one hundred and fifty pounds, 
it affords no little sport with rod and reel. Practically a deep- 
water fish, it often came into the outer keys where they dropped 
quickly into the channelj and at night frequented the great 
lagoons to feed on the countless crayfish, which wandered abroad 
at night, and other easily-caught game. 

If we cross from the Gulf of Mexico into the Gulf of California 
we shall enter the more or less restricted territory of a fine big 
bass-like fish, the black sea bass {Stereolepis gigas), found ia large 
numbers at almost any locahty in the Gulf and alongshore as far 
as Monterey on the coast of California. Compared to the Florida 
jewfish, this big game is a greyhoxmd. Many of the male fishes 
are finely proportioned and bear a striking resemblance, fin for 
fin, to the ordinary big-mouth black bass, if we can imagine a bass 
six or seven feet in length, and weighing four or five hundred 

The big bass has all the game qualities of the black bass, 
though, naturally, it has not the quickness of movement, nor 
does it leap under any circumstances ; but it will dart at a bait 
so suddenly as to nearly demoralize the angler. I have fre- 
quently ia rapidly hauling in a whitefish, been startled by the 
sudden and tremendous rush of this^oHath of the fishes as it short 
upward, making a miniature maelstrom as it missed the fish, 
turned and dashed out of sight. 

This fish is extremely common at Santa Catahna Island, where, 
from June until October it is an every-day catch with rod and 
reel and a 24:-tliread Une, so light that it is diflficult to make the 

Fig. 22. 

Giant Saw Fish, taken with rod and reel by Mr. S. O. Vanderpoel, of New York, in Florida. 

p. 128. 


layman believe the stories told at the town of Avalon. A large 
individual, over one hundred and fifty pounds in weight, has, I 
think, been taken with a nine-ounce rod and nine-thread line — 
the light tackle originated by Mr. Arthur Jerome Eddy, of the 
Tuna Club, the distiaguished angler, fencer, author and playwright, 

Up to 1886 the black sea bass was always taken with a hand- 
hue. The first one I caught was with a ' syndicate ' of five anglers. 
Mexican Joe, our boatman, hooked it and handed the rod to me. 
I was satisfied in about five minutes, my arms being nearly 
wrenched from their sockets, and passed the line to my companion 
next to me, who succumbed in about the same time. We aU 
tried conclusions with this three or four hundred-pound fish, and 
I fancy our laughing boatman landed it. 

This was the preliminary in 1886. Later I landed many of 
the fish, single handed, and one seventy-five or eighty pounder 
on a nine-ounce rod and niae-thread line ; not a remarkable fish, 
as I thought it was a yellowtail. By a curious series of fatalities 
I never succeeded in taking a large black sea bass with rod and 
reel, nor did I take the first in this manner although I tried re- 
peatedly. But I was compensated in being with a gallant officer — 
General Charles Viele, of the Cavalry — when he accomplished 
this feat, supposed to be practically impossible. While he was 
being towed about by the fish I lost tips, rods and lines from the 
anchored launch, the big game evidently enjoying themselves at 
my expense. 

My next trial was a failure. I hooked a fish, the colossal 
sort that are never seen. At the strike the boatman cast off the 
buoy, and away we went out to sea at about four miles an hour. 
I was usiQg a tuna sixteen-ounce rod and line of twenty-four 
strands, which would lift a weight of forty-eight pounds, and I 
put on forty-seven pounds of tension and pressure, as near as I 
could estimate ; but I doubt if the giant ever felt it. My efforts 
were so futile, I was so utterly unable to make any impression on 
the monster, which was growing larger in my mind's eye all the 
time, that presently my two companions began to make certain 

9 129 


remarks calculated to arouse one's dormant energies, and I threw 
aU my strength into the contest and believe I did gain a few feet. 
But I lost them very quickly, and we were still moving out to 
sea, and the boatman was holding back with both oars, for we 
were in a staunch heavy rowboat. 

My friends now began to question my physical and mental 
powers and qualiflcations for landing cmy kind of game, and I 
was rapidly arriving at the conclusion that I had a real 
monster that no one could land. When fuUy convinced that this 
was the case, I handed the rod to one of my companions — ^an old 
tuna angler — and sat back to enjoy his discomfort. He tugged 
and haided, looked surprised, then worried, while I made choice 
and timely criticisms. But the fish kept on and on, apparently 
unmoved, and at last, after a half hour's struggle, either my friend 
or the big bass broke the Une. I doubt if either of us had lifted 
him ten feet. He moved steadily on and on down the side of the 
big mountain of Santa Cataltna, and when the line severed he had 
garnered nearly six hundred feet. 

The black sea bass attains a weight of one thousand pounds in 
the Gulf of California, but this fisk, which we played for an hour, 
must have weighed — ^what it weighed I leave to the reader's 
imagination. The black sea bass comes in from outer banks or 
deeps in May or June to spawn, and is met with in schools at 
times. Its favourite grounds are beds of long kelp that 
rises up to the surface in water fifty or one hundred feet and 
surrounds the islands of California and Mexico and some of the 
mainland shores. Where it actually spawns, or where the young 
go, I have never determined, nor have I seen a young fish or heard 
of any one who has seen one smaller than three or four pounds. 
Where the very young go or stay is a mystery not confined alone 
to the progeny of the black sea bass, but to most of the big game 
fishes here. They come to spawn ; the females are filled with 
eggs ; they return every year, but the yoimg elude observation 
in an extraordinary manner. 

The big bass is a most graceful fish in the water and very social. 


It has no hesitation in coming up under a boat when four or five 
liaes are out, or to a wharf. I have watched it about my bait 
in the deep green kelpian forests and on the side of the island 
mountain of San Olemente, where it moved about coyly, glancing 
at the bait from the side, as I have seen the gray snapper — one 
of the cleverest of fishes — passing it by to turn and come back, 
actiag with great caution. When convinced that there was no 
danger it took the bait between its lips for a second, then dropped 
it and went through the operation again ; aU of which explained the 
nibbling I frequently had noticed at the strike, and showiug the 
angler should not strike immediately, but give line until the bait 
is surely taken. 

In fishing with tuna rod, reel and line, the boat, a launch, is 
anchored, and the anchor rope made fast to a buoy, as there is 
no time to hatd up. The bait is a live whiteflsh, or six or seven 
pounds of albacore or barracuda. This is lowered to the bottom, 
then hauled up three or four feet. When the strike comes it is 
iadicated by the slow click of the reel ; the boatman casts off the 
buoy, the angler slacks away five, ten or more feet of Une, and 
does not strike until the line is moving rapidly away. Then he 
gives the fish the ' butt ' with all his strength ; the response 
comes in a terrific rush which with a hand-line would pull a 
man overboard iE he held on, and on one occasion almost pulled a 
light, one hundred and twenty-five pound skiff I was in, under 

After several rushes the bass settles down iato a steady swim 
out to sea and into deeper water, while the angler endeavours to 
stop him by ' pumping ' and other methods he may have at his 
command. There is a great difference in the fishes. Some will 
tow a boat a long distance and defy the angler. Others wiU give 
in soon. But the average fish can be taken in from a half hour 
to an hour. When it reaches the surface the bass is generally 
hors de combat and presents an extraordinary appearance ; but 
it frequently makes violent rushes, tossing water over the boat, 
and into the faces of the men. 



The boatman now gaffs it with a long gaff, and after killiag 
it, a block and tackle are rigged and it is hoisted aboard the 
launch and laid across the deck. This is still fishing, but the 
fish can be taken by the method known in England as ' trailing.' 
The big hook is baited with a live white-fish through the lip, 
and a pipe sioker above sufficiently heavy to carry it down. The 
launch then moves slowly along ' trolling ' the bait in water fifty 
feet deep, but near the bottom along the edge of the kelp 
forest. This is called troUing, and nearly all the fishing here is 
either bottom fishing or surface trolling, though when fishes Kke 
the yeUowtail are very plentiful the launch is often stopped and 
bait, ' chum ' (ground baiting), cut up and scattered about to keep 
the fish about the boat, the angler casting with his rod. At such 
times the water is perfectly clear and the fishes can be seen. 

The black sea bass is occasionally taken from wharves on the 
mainland, that is, it is hooked, but the fine is led ashore and the 
monster bass hauled ignominiously up the sands. 

The black sea bass does not rank with the tuna or swordfish, 
but the Tuna Club recognizes it as a game fish and there are 
cups and medals fished for each season. If one is in need of 
exercise of a strenuous quality accompanied by excitement often 
of a sensational character, the sport can be heartily and unre- 
servedly commended. The great fish is iateresting as it has so 
restricted a range, being a CaHfornian and Lower CaUfornian fish. 
The small individuals of one hundred or fifty pounds are very 
fair eating. At some of the banquets of the Tuna Club such an one 
has been baked entire, and brought in after the fashion of the 
boar's head in old England. 

The rod records of the Tuna Club are carefully kept and some 
are as follows : The largest catch of black sea bass, and the world's 
record, is held by Mr. L. 6. Murphy. His bass, taken on the 
southwest coast of Santa CataUna Island, weighed four hundred 
and thirty-six pounds — ^a ponderous contribution to sea angling 
records in California or elsewhere. The records of the club by 
the year are as follows : 


'' Laegest Black Sea Bass {Stereolepis gigas). 

P. V. Eider, Avalon, Cal., season 1898 . . . 327 pounds. 

T. S. Manning, Avalon, Cal., season 1899 . . . 372 

F. S. Schenck, Brooklyn, N. Y., season 1900 . . 384 

C. A. Thomas, Pomona, Cal., season 1901 . . . 384 

H. T. Kendall, Pasadena, Cal., season 1902 . . .419 

Edward IleweUyn, Los Angeles, season 1903 . . 425 

H. L. Smith, New York City, season 1904 . . .402 

L. G. Mm^hy, Converse, Ind., season 1905 . . . 436 

C. H. Earle, Los Angeles, Cal., season 1906 . . 372 

C. J. Tripp, Los Attgeles, Cal., season 1907 . . . 427 

Lloyd B. NeweU, Los Angeles, Cal., season 1908 . . 380 

R. C. Baird, San IVancisco, Cal., season 1909 . . 394 

Jesse Roberts, Philadelphia, Pa., season 1910 . . 385 

Judge J. S. Dempsey, Madisonville, Ky., season 1911 430J 

S.'W. Guthrie, season 1912 427 

Some large sawfishes have been taken -with rod and reel in 
Florida, the combat being exciting and dangerous. I have had 
a large sawfish bury the ivory teeth which arm its long sword-like 
snout in the soft wood of my boat, suggestive of what it would 
have done had I been in the way. In hauling a sawfish alongside, 
it has a disagreeable habit of suddenly raising itself on its tail, 
or lifting its^ head out of water and striking to right and left. 
One of the largest of these fishes ever taken with a rod was hooked, 
played and landed by Mr. S. Oakley Vanderpoel of Few York, near 
Key West. Mr. Vanderpoel was fishing with a sixteen-ounee 
rod and a twenty-four thread line, and for four hours and forty 
minutes it wa,s give and take for the mastery, the great fish 
making desperate lunges and towing the small boat about in every 
direction. When it was finally brought to gaff and triced up 
alongside the gangway of the yacht, its proportions became 
evident. It was fourteen feet one inch long, over seven feet 
around, and estimated to weigh five hundred pounds. In all 
probability, it weighed nearer one thousand pounds, as the scales 
upon which it was weighed were limited to five hundred poimds. 

The sawfish is a strange combination of shark and ray. Its 
saw is unique in the armament of fishes, calling to mind the sword 
of the swordfish. 




' His drumming heart cheers up his burning eye.' 

jRope of Luorece. 

IS" the quaint Praise of New Netherland, written by one Jacob 
Steendam in 1661, he refers to the White Sea Bass family : 

' You've weakfish, carp and turbot, pike and plaice, 
There's not a pool or water trail, 
Where swam not myriads of the finny race.' 

The weakfish belongs to the generic tribe of Cynosdon, of 
which there are three species on the Atlantic coast. For two 
centuries thousands of anglers in and about New York have 
gone down the bay for them, from childhood to old age. The 
American Field and Stream, devoted to the elevation of sport, 
has just concluded a remarkable tournament in which it offered 
valuable cups and prizes for large weakfish taken on special 
tackle, the kind that means generous and fair play. In glancing 
over the Usts, I observe the following records, which show the 
average size of the weakfish taken by anglers to-day : Owen 
E. Houghton, Esq., nine pounds four ounces ; Dr. Henry F. 
Deane, eight and one quarter pounds ; Walter E. Sawyer, eight 
pounds four ounces. 

The weakfish is known as the Squeteague, an Indian name, 
the drummer, yeUow-fin, squil, sea-trout, gray trout and other 
names, from the Bay of Fundy to the coast of Florida, where I 
have taken it at the mouth of the St. Mary's Eiver. The various 
species are found all around the Gulf, being chiefly known as 


' sea trout,' merely because they are spotted and bear a superficial 
resemblance to this fish. 

Mr. F. G. Aflalo, England's distinguished sea angler, in his 
Sunshine cmd Sport in Florida a/nd the West Indies, says that the 
* so-called trout or sea trout, is perhaps the most game of any 
of the smaller fishes of Florida, and specifically at Useppa,' and 
he advises ' an old trout rod and float tackle.' 

It is a valuable food fish, and the weakflsh (Cynoscion regale) 
is considered one of the fine, though small, game fishes of the 
Atlantic. Three and four pounders are the average, ten pounds 
being not uncommon ; while the record is a thirty poimder, that 
being the maximum weight. The New York anglers look for 
them with the blueflsh in May when large schools arrive, and 
then it can be found in various parts of the bay and along the 
coast. The fish is a good fighter, quick in movement, and when 
taken on an eight-ounce rod is a game fish in aU the term implies ; 
and conversely is helpless on the big biUiard, cue-like rods 
often used by anglers. 

The weakflsh has a penchant for crab bait, shrimp or cfams, 
and as they play on the surface and ia the strong tide, the line 
can be paid out — an ideal condition. In playing the weakflsh 
there is but one thing to remember, its [jaws are weak and 
many flsh are lost by the tearing out of the hook. 

In colour the weakflsh is given to silver, adapting itself, 
darker or lighter, to its surroundings. Scattered over it are dark 
irregular spots or blotches, some of which form into undulating 
lines. It has two flne, expressive dorsals ; the tail is large, 
powerful and incurving ; the lower jaw slightly protruding, 
giving the flsh an expression of determination. The eye is ex- 
pressive and well proportioned. The lower flns often have a 
slightly yellowish hue, and when freshly landed the flsh is a 
picture, animated, scintillant and beautiful. This is the weak- 
flsh you will flnd around New York and New Jersey ; and the 
Asbury Park Angling Club members, of which I have the honour 
to be one, tell of notable catches. 



On the JSew Jersey coast and in the Chesapeake Bay (where 
I have taken it) down to Georgia and Florida, you may find 
another weakfish, C. nebulosas, or the spotted sea-trout, on which 
the spots are very pronounced. Along this entire country, 
including Hatteras, it is one of the important food fishes. On 
the Indian Eiver of Florida it runs up to twelve pounds, and is 
taken with a phantom minnow, spoon, or bait of a varied Mnd. 
Another species, C. nothus, of a gray silvery tint, ranges in a 
general way along the Georgia, Florida and Gulf of Mexico waters. 
It has a dark, often blackish, lower jaw. The spotted trout is 
very common at Pensacola and Key Westj though I have fished 
the Tortugas group about sixty nules west, winter and summer, 
and do not recall it. 

At nearly aU of the places, and I recall ' Old Poiat ' in Virginia, 
the mouth of the St. John's and St. Mary's, these fishes are present 
with the channel-bass and others ; but in nine cases out of ten, 
their game and fighting qualities are utterly lost, due to the use 
of big poles or hand-lines in taking them. An eight-ounce split 
bamboo rod, with the reel above the grip, is heavy enough for 
the average weakfish. I observe that Mr. Turner-Turner in his 
Big Fish in Florida, refers to the ' trout ' at Boca Grand as 
taking a grilse-&y. 

This interesting and valuable fish to the inhabitants of so 
many American states has no representative in Europe ; but 
when the Panama Canal is finished, the way will be opened, and 
the field of the Pacific coast presented for a variety of weakfish 
angling that, to my mind, is not incomparable to sea-trout fish- 
ing. In a word, h^re, and especially in California, is the ' spotted 
trout ' or bluefish, Cynoscion parvipinnis, a radiant little fish 
of six or seven pounds, which I have often taken at Santa Cata- 
lina and along the mainland of California, and which is found 
from this island south to Mazatlan, and in the GulE of California, 
where I have taken it near Guajrmas. California is famed for 
big things, and among them may be included its fishes, particularly 
the game fishes of the weakfish family. Here we find them 

Fig. 23. A Morning's Catch of White Sea Bass (four rods), 

italina Island, California. Average, 35 lbs. Photo by Reyes. p. 136. 


known as tlie Wliite Sea Bass, veritable monsters compared to 
the little weakfish of the Atlantic. There are two species : 
C. maedonaldi of the Giilf of California, which attains a length 
of four or more feet and a weight of two hundred pounds, and 
C. ndbilis of Santa Cataliaa, which ranges up to one hundred, 
though eighty pounds is the largest I have seen, and a fifty-three 
or four pounder the largest I have landed with a rod. The record 
of the Tuna Club was taken some years ago by Mr. C. H. Harding 
of Philadelphia, who caught a sixty-pound fish after a gallant 
and graphic contest for supremacy ; and other notable catches 
by Tuna Club members are as follows : 

Largest White Sea Bass (Cynoscion ndbilis). 

Edward M. Boggs, Oakland, Cal., season 1899 

Wm. P. Adams, Chicago, HI., season 1903 

C. H. Harding, Philadelphia, Pa., season 1904 

E. C. Wilson, Denver, Colo., season 1905 

^A. L. Beebe, Portland, Ore., season 1906 

1 Arthur J. Eddy, Chicago, PI., season 1906 

^Mrs. E. H. Brewster, Avalon, season 1907 

^S. A. Barron, San Dimas, Cal., season 1908 

'^A. L. Beebe, Portland, Ore., season 1908 

*A. L. Beebe, Portland, Ore., season 1909 

ij. W. Prey, Los Angeles, Cal., winter season 1909-10 

1 Benjamin Thaw, Pittsburg, Pa., season 1910 

^A. E. Eaton, Avalon, winter season 1910-11 

^Guy Beddinger, Chicago, PI., season 1911 

John B. Dempsey, Cleveland, Ohio, wiater season 1911-12 

58 pounds 















These bass are Uable, as the yellowtaU and Caranx of Florida, 
to a sudden madness or insatiate and overwhelming frenzy or 
blood lust. At such times large schools wiU start at full speed, 
sweep up the coast like a band of ravenous wolves, enter the bays, 
as Avalon, driving small fry and even squids ten feet long before 
them, and creating a panic in fishdom. At such a time they will 

^ Taken under tackle specifications of light Tackle Class. 
* Taken under tackle specifications of Three-Six Class. 



bite at any lure, even a white rag. I have seen a dozen boats 
hooked on to these fishes beittg towed this way and that in Avalon 
bay, men and women shouting and screaming as they hooked or 
lost the game. I recall seeing one light skiff being towed rapidly 
from one side of the bay to the other, the sole occupant 
a woman, who held a stout hand-line on which was a white sea 
bass that later on was found to weigh eighty pounds. 

My own experience was no less laughable. Mr. Frank T. 
Bider of Pasadena and I occupied a light flat bottom boat and 
were standing, he in the bow, I in the stem, casting with our 
rods. We both immediately hooked large fishes, Mr. Eider's 
rushing directly ahead, while mine surged off astern, so that we 
presented the ludicrous appearance of a piscatorial tug of war. 
If I remember correctly, we saved the day. Mr. Eider's fish 
weighed fifty-four pounds, and mine fifty-one. Mrs. Eider took 
with her light rod several of these large and splendid fishes, 
which departed as rapidly as they came. 

The bass are, in a sense, night feeders, though I beUeve this is 
true of almost aU fishes. The bass devotes its nights to charging 
the elusive flying fish. By standing on an elevation, at times the 
Uttle bay of Avalon can be seen a seething mass of phosphorescence, 
as these fishes rush about, after the active fliers which come out 
on the beach. Often a dozen will be foimd ia the anchored boats 
in the morning. Several people have been struck by flying fish 
which were flushed by sea bass. On one occasion a lady I was 
rowing turned to avoid a flying fish, which struck her in the back. 
A woman sitting on the beach one night was almost thrown 
into hysterics by having a flying fish, chased by sea bass, alight 
in her lap. 

These splendid white sea bass completely fill the imagination 
of the angler as to what an oceanic game fish should be. They 
recall the salmon ; are long, slender, yet well proportioned, 
sedate, dignified, with tmdoubted cunning, at times scorning all 
the appliances of the angler. 

In colour the fish is gray above, or olive in the water, but 


out of it a splendid peacock-blue, almost iridescent, especially 
about the head. The belly is a rich silver. 

The Gulf of California species is plentiful near the bores of 
the Eio Colorado. It enters the little bays or indentations north 
of Tiburon, especiaUy near Altar, following up the tidal bores to 
feed upon the small fry. Colonel C. P. Morehous of the Tuna 
Club informed me that he cast for them from the beach here and 
took specimens that ran up to one hundred pounds. I caught 
them in the lagoon off the Eio Yaqui, though not of this size, 
and had some interesting contests "with them along the picturesque 
coast north of Guaymas. The Hon. C. G. Conn, who has made 
the trip in his yacht Comfort from Santa Catahna to the GulE 
several times, is, doubtless, more famiUar with this fish at its 
largest size than any other American angler. His photographs 
show some extraordinary fishes, both as to size and weight ; 
bass that required heavy tackle, muscle and endurance to play 
and bring to gaff. 

It is more than useless to attempt to compare the game 
qualities of various fishes, hence I can but say that the white 
sea bass of the Santa Catahna Channel averages well with the 
yellowtail. In several instances, I have taken five of these fishes 
in a single forenoon, not one hundred feet from the shore of 
Avalon Bay, each fish weigMng fifty pounds, and each fish 
giving me a play beyond criticism. Again, I have troUed and 
cast over a school of twenty, thirty, forty, fifty pounders for days 
and never had a strike. StiU again, I have heard anglers say 
that taking the white sea bass was like ' logging.' 

The moral of all this is that no two fishes are alike, and no 
two of any kind agree in fighting or other qualities. I have 
fought hours with a tuna, and the following year saw a man, 
who had never taken a fish larger than a trout, land a tima in 
ten minutes, a catch which convinced him that all thri stories 
about the desperate playing of this fish were pigments of the 
imagination. The explanation is that a certain fish may be sick, 
starved, weak from spawning, or incapacitated for a struggle 



for various reasons, while the next tuna, the following day, may 
be a tiger and a devastator of tackle. This is true of all fishes and 
the experience of all seasoned anglers. It is this very uncertainty 
that makes angling what it isj and I hold that to see a school of 
white sea bass of the largest size lying in the great kelp beds is 
worth whQe, even if they will not bite. 

This fish has been seen as far north as Vancouver, but this is 
rare. At Santa Cruz it abounds and is taken in nets. The Bay 
of Monterey is a favourite feeding ground ; but the locality best 
adapted for the angler is Santa CataUna, where the Tuna Club 
displays some fine specimens, and collections of photographs of 
the catches of fifteen or more years. 

The fishes come in large schools in April or May, depending 
upon the season. Their arrival is the occasion of a movement 
of anglers from many places to Avalon, anglers leaving orders 
with the Tuna Club to telegraph them on the arrival of the fish. 
The tackle is the nine-ounce rod of the Club, a number nine hne, 
piano wire trace or leader, and a number 10/° hook, aUof which 
can be obtained at the tackle shops of Avalon. The bait is a 
flying fish eighteen inches long, the bonne iouche of the white sea 

I was drifting over the kelp beds of Avalon one day with Dr. 
David Starr Jordan, President of Stanford University, and the 
authority on the fishes of America, when suddenly we passed over 
a school of big bass. We were passengers on a glass-bottom boat, 
which some anglers affect, that they may see the fish, the strike, 
and all that is going on. We were looking down through the 
glass window, and as it magnified slightly, it appeared as if we 
could almost touch the bass. They were about four feet in 
length, forty or fifty pounders, floating or poising in the inter- 
stices of the big vine — splendid and impressive pictures of dignity 
and power. 

They paid no attention to the boat, sociability being a char- 
acteristic. We observed them a while and passed on ; but I stored 
up the memory of the place and found it several days later. 

Fig. 24. 
White Sea Bass. 39+ lbs. on a 9-ounce Rod. By Dr. L. Putzel, 1911, in Avalon Bay. 
California. " P- '^O. 


As I trolled a flying fish by the spot I had a strike. I saw the 
boiling water at the surface, the swirl, and sprang to my feet 
and watched the subsequent proceeding. The bass had shot 
up from below and seized the fish just forward of the tail. It 
lay on the surface innocent of the hook or me, and worked the 
bait about as a snake will a frog, trying to point it down its 
throat head-first, Eully five minutes was required in this 
operation. Meanwhile I stood ready and when the bait dis- 
appeared and the bass started ahead, I reeled in the slack of 
my line and struck, the little line humming in the sunshine like 
the string of a lute. 

Back came a violent blow as the bass shot ahead, bearing 
off hard, tearing the line from the reel to the brazen song of the 
click. Twenty, thirty, fifty, one hundred feet gone before I 
could stop the fish, and then it was but to change its direction, 
I was standing, resting the butt ia my leather belt, hence could 
watch the play which was almost entirely on the surface. Several 
times this fine fish completely circled the boat, and it was only 
after a spirited contest of half an hour that I began to gain and 
brought it alongside, to see it rush away one hundred feet or 
more at sight of the gaff, and involve me again in the toils. 
No fish could have made a finer fight, nor a more gallant play 
for its life. When at last it came surging along the quarter on 
short Hne, and I led it into the sphere of action of the gaffer, 
who gaffed it cleverly directly under the mouth, held it for a 
moment while it tossed the spray over the boat, I confess that 
my triumph was tempered by more than a tinge of remorse. 

' The pleasantest angling is to see the fish 
Cut with her golden oars the silver stream 
And greedily devour the treacherous bait.' 

One cannot but regret that so gallant a fighter could not have 
escaped ; at least it had every chance, a thread of a line, 
that used for five-pound black bass in the streams of Canada. 

The white sea bass often enter the Bay of Avalon and lie 



beneath large schools of anchovies or sardines. I have seen 
the same at Monterey. If the angler will cast an empty hook 
into the throng, impale a live fish, then pay out line, in a moment 
he -win have a strike. Apparently, the bass is unable to resist 
the temptation of a live bait or a wounded fish. The Wilson 
spoon is at times an effective lure for this fish, day and night, 
when other baits fail. I have trolled for hours off the coast 
and tried everything but live bait when hundreds of the biggest 
bass were lying in the kelp in plain sight, yet never deigned to 
notice me. 

In Florida almost invariably I towed a four-foot, boat-shaped 
car of wire mesh and wood with a door in the top. This my 
boatman filled with live bait, if we were going to fish for cavaUy, 
and it was always irresistible. If the boatmen of Santa CataJina 
would adopt this plan, or build small weUs in their boats, after 
the fashion of Florida smacks, they would rarely draw a blank 
with the big weakfish of the Pacific coast. 




' " I wonder why they have three classes of tickets in a glass-bottom fishing 
boat," queried the tenderfoot, who had a third-class ticket. Jiist then the 
anchor went down and the captain sang out : " First-class passengers, fish ; 
second-class, bait hooks ; third-class, clean fish." ' 

Avalon Ancient Story. 

GLASS-BOTTOM boats were not invented for anglers, but I 
conceived the idea in 1862, on the Florida reef (as doubtless 
others had before me), to enable us to find rare corals and the 
rare queen conch in comparatively deep water, upon which I 
would dive down and bring them up. At Santa CataMna Island, 
California, an extraordinary fleet of glass-bottom craft has been 
developed by the exigencies of the situation, and mainly used 
to enable the passengers to examine the splendid sea bottom, 
the floating gardens of the sea. Many anglers rent the small 
glass-bottom boats and fish from them, sitting comfortably and 
gazing down through the plate-glass window, so watching the 
game as it approaches and takes the lure. 

-N"o picture of the imagination could be more beautiful than 
these Catalina submarine gardens. They are well named, as 
they are literal gardens of the sea, a band of green seaweed, of 
infinite variety, size and shape, encircling the sides of a mountain 
peak twenty-two miles long and from four to six wide which rises 
from a base nearly a mile beneath the sea to an altitude of one- 
half mile above it. The shores are precipitous and abrupt ; 
the zone of seaweed is just at the surface and encircles the entire 
island. In the bays at the mouths of the canons, as Avalon, 
Descanso, Cabrillo and others, there is shoal water and a sandy 



bottom. The most attractive picture the angler sees through the 
glass-bottom boat is the maze of viaes in blue water, popularly- 
known as kelp. These plants of the sea are of vast length, often 
one or two hundred feet, with huge leaves which coil and writhe 
in the current, lying on the surface at low tide or deeply covered 
at the flood, but always the home and resort and protection of a 
score of animals of the sea and many game fishes. 

We may in imagination follow the angler in the glass-bottom 
boat, peering down into the ocean through the plates of glass. 
They slightly magnify, and as the boat moves along every object 
upon the bottom is seen with great distinctness : dehcate surf- 
fishes of silvery hue, imitating the bottom, famous in that their 
young are born alive ; small fiat-fishes related to the flounder, 
or hahbut, whose eye passes around so that in the adult fish both 
are upon one side, the upper. We can see the delicate furrows 
in the sand that the incoming waves carve on the bottom of the 
sea. There is the trail of the trochus shell, a veritable submarine 
plow, that deflects to avoid the attractive coUar egg-case of another 
shell. Deeper becomes the water, and we begin to see the diapha- 
nous haze or colour of the sea, now a faint, tremulous green, or a 
suggestion of blue. A school of frightened sardines dash into 
view, eyes staring, black, white, a flash of sflver, and they are 
gone. Small kelp-fishes, sinuous and dust-coloured, are seen 
on the bottom ; a sea-anemone that would fill a saucer lies in 
the sand, covered with bits of shell — a queer defence. Deeper 
stiU becomes the water, and a series of ejaculations come from 
the voyagers as into view merge the radiant gardens of the sea. 
If a moving-picture machine were projecting its views into the 
water a better idea of a novel moving-picture could not be 
imagined, as every moment there is a change — new plants, new 
fishes, strange animals, and the gentle waves aid in this, by un- 
folding and folding the splendid verdure of the sea. It is indeed 
a moving-picture, and each observer peers down into the home 
of some of the most interesting and little-known of ocean wonders. 

The boat is now within a few feet of the shore, the stern in 


O Ph 


rt . 

CO (D 


c/; 2 

rt S 



water but two or three feet, the bow over blue water, so sharp i» 
the descent, and the observer sees that he or she is looking at 
the side of a submarine mountain, on the slopes of which is aa 
ocean forest, in which the sardine bait dangles. There is a gentle 
sweU, and as a wave comes surging in, it lifts the masses of oUve^ 
golden and brownish weed, folding it gently toward the shore, 
then sending it back undidating and coiling, to be repeated 
again and again. Every time this veil is lifted some strange flslt 
or animal is uncovered. Now it is a sea-slug, a huge black 
animal, perhaps a foot long, with flapping, wing-hke organs 
over its back and short antennae or feelers. If this creature is- 
disturbed it throws out a splendid purple ink in resentment, 
which is irritating enough to stop any predatory fish. Over 
almost every green, algae-covered stone lies another slug, the 
holothurian or sea-cucumber, eaten by the Chinese. It is a- 
cousin to the star-fishes, and in it Lives a Uttle silvery fish, the 

Under every rock with its investment of coralline, red, blue 
or yellow sponge, is seen a jet-black array of bristles en charge. 
This is the black echinus, not the same fellow of Florida, but with 
shorter spines, equally disagreeable, a living pincushion. Near 
it are two long spines waving to and fro, telling of the crayfish, 
green instead of yellow, as in Florida ; in fact, the looker-on 
at this marine moving-picture show soon becomes aware that 
almost all the animals differ from those of the Atlantic or other 
parts of the world. All this time the guide is describing the 
wonders, and that he has the various points named, the ' Grand 
Canon,' the ' Yosemite,' etc., and gives to the various animals- 
weird and uncanny names, does not lessen the gaiety of the scene 
or situation. Sprawled over a rock is the octopus or devil-fish, 
emitting its cloud of ink. Specimens have been seen on the 
coast with a radial spread of twelve or fifteen feet. Watch it 
poise and crouch, then send out one of its snaky legs or tentacles 
at a hapless crab. If the observers are very lucky they wiU see a 
cousin, the paper nautilus, which is found here at certain seasons 

10 145 


and one of the rarest and most interesting animals elsewliere. It 
builds a shell of diaphanous material by holding up its two sheU- 
secreting arms, and in them secretes its soft shell, here depositing 
its eggs. But the shell is not essential to it, being a mere cradle 
for the eggs, and the argonaut wiU leave it and wander about, 
and at times deserts it altogether. After a storm twenty of 
these radiantly beautiful shells have been found on the island 

As the boat moves out into deeper water, dragging the bait, 
the pictures change, and we now see a wonderful mosaic. The 
huge leaves of kelp are massed, and through them bits of vivid 
turquoise-blue, the colour of the ocean, appear more than or- 
dinarily vivid contrasted with the greens of the kelp, ranging from 
dark to light green, yellow and olive. The sun sends visible beams 
and shafts of light down through the azure windows, so that each 
delicate jellyfish and many minute animals, as SappMrinae 
and Salpae, stand out ia brilliant relief, forming with the loops 
and portiferes a charming scene, only to be imagined in the deeps 
•of the CaUfornian seas. Each leaf is a study, as it is ornamented, 
silvered, with dainty corallines in fantastic shapes. Here are 
crabs of red and green clinging to it, so deftly disguised by nature 
that it is almost impossible to see them, having assumed this 
colouring as a protection. Down through the Windows, and the 
interstices of the kelp, is a deep, blue mass, so vivid as to be 
startling. The boat stops, and we make it out to be a school of 
perch, lying so closely together that they appear to be a sohd 
mass of azure, their backs a vivid blue seen through the blue of 
the ocean depths. The water is so clear here that one may see 
the bottom in forty or more feet. 

As the boat drifts on we see the rocks and realize that we are 
looking down the side of a precipitous mountain. Here altogether 
new creatures are seen ; great crabs, huge sea-anemones, some 
of smaller size and of a briUiant red hue, looking like straw- 
berries. Wedged in the rocks is a small shark with a white spine 
in front of each fin, one of the most ancient types, related to the 


Port Jackson shark. In a little sandy bay is a black corkscrew- 
like object, the egg, Nature having provided this case to prevent 
it from washing ashore. Almost from the start, in the kelp, but 
never on the sand, we have seen a brilliantly coloured, orange-red 
fish, the red angel-fish, so tame or inquisitive that it can be very 
carefully studied. With it are many rock-bass with beautiful eyes, 
and young blue-eyed perch, and on rare occasions the sand-bass. 

Directly before us, seen as the kelp rolls away, and then only 
when pointed out, is the most remarkable of all these fishes, the 
big kelp-fish. Now you see it, now you do not, though it is 
directly under your eyes, but sO extraordinary is its resemblance 
to the kelp that even the skilled observer loses this wonderful 
mimic as it winds back and forth before his eyes. The reason 
of this is that the kelp-fish assumes the exact colour of the weed. 
It has a long fin and is mottled, just as are the leaves, with dashes 
of white, resembling the corallines. This is sufficient in itself 
to disguise the fish, but as though not satisfied, it hangs in the 
kelp, head up, or down, in a perpendicular position, so its resem- 
blance to a part of the leaf is exact. Very like a bird it is in the 
tops of these kelpian forests, one hundred feet above the bottom. 
Like a bird, it builds a nest by winding a cord of eggs about small 
bunches of weed ; the male, in briULant nuptial colours, watching 
over it and violently attacking other fishes. 

Crouching amid the rocks we see two kinds of sculpins, with 
large heads and extraordinary fins, wonderful mimics of their 
surroundings. The fish with the bands is the convict-fish, a very 
mild-mannered little fish. Projecting from some crevice will be 
seen a sharp-nosed fish with mouth open, displaying snake-hke 
teeth. This is the local sea-serpent, moray or sea eel, which 
attains a length of four feet ; a most disagreeable creature when 
taken into a boat, coUing and striking like a snake and quite as 
vicious. This is an ally of the fish to which the epicures of old 
Eome fed slaves, to improve the flavour. Up out of the blue depths 
may come a ponderous form six or seven feet in length, a perfect 
black bass, yet moving slowly and with certain dignity through 



the great arches of kelp. This is the black sea-bass, peculiar to 

As we slowly drift along we suddenly come upon a school of 
beautiful and shapely fishes. They resemMe salmon, but are 
darker above and silvery below. None are less than four feet in 
length, and they weigh not less than forty or fifty pounds — a, 
sight for the angler. They are white sea-bass, one of the finest 
game fighters of the region. If the boat drifts clear of the kelp 
into blue water we may catch a glimpse of the most beautiful 
of all the CaUfornian fishes, the Dorado, or dolphin, a game fish 
which attains a weight of seventy or more pounds. The long, 
sharp-nosed fishes are barracudas. The sight of hundreds of eyes 
as we drift over them is one to be remembered. The barracuda 
invariably runs in schools while its Florida relative is solitary. 
Coming up from the bottom is the attractive whitefish, and the 
sheepshead, the latter fish with a massive, domed head of velvet- 
black and white lower jaw, its body alternate red and black 
stripes. This is a friendly and familiar fish. Its young are 
blue and very attractive. If very lucky, and in the summer season 
when the glass-bottom boat is crossing deep water from point to 
point, the observer may see the fine Catalina swordfish, the most 
spectacular of game fishes. When hooked he constitutes a whole 
moving-picture, as he jumps forty or fifty times, in frantic and 
fierce endeavours to escape. 

In deeper water the bonito, the albacore and on rare occasions 
a leaping tuna may be seen. Some years ago a school of large 
tunas came into Avalon Bay, and those who chanced to be in 
glass-bottom boats saw scores of them dashing away, while the 
glass was fairly obstructed by flying fishes seeking the bottom 
of the boat in terror. When the boat with a window drifts slowly 
over greater depths the moving-picture show is often made up of 
remarkable jelly-fishes. One, a white and lavender-tinted meteor, 
has been seen in early spring with a train of tentacles estimated 
at fifty feet in length. Often they fairly cloy the water, and 
scores can be seen pulsating by. A remarkable black jelly-fish is 

Fig. 26. Game Fishes of North America. (Pacific Ocean). 

1. Long-fin Tuna. 2. Pacific Mackerel. 3. Yellow-fin Tuna. 4. Luvarus Jack. 
Photo by Reyes, taken in Santa Catalina Channel p. 148 


to be seen, and in the summer if a small glass-bottom boat is 
rowed offshore a short distance a veritable fiesta of these wonders 
of the sea will be witnessed. Some are in chains or rings ; others 
appear Kke fluted vases, and every possible shape and figure may 
be observed. If a more graphic scene is desired take the glass- 
bottom boat at night and drift around the kelp beds. Then 
aU nature seems ablaze j myriads of worms, invisible during 
the day, now come whirling to the surface and glow like lamps. 
Every drop of water when disturbed is a blaze of Ught, and in 
the depths a large barrel-shaped object, the Pyrosoma, is seen, 
sparkling with blue light. Minute objects of aU colours of the 
rainbow flash under the glass, and the sea appears to be filled 
with meteors, comets and rains of fiery matter — ^a moving-picture 
staged in the dark recesses of the sea. 

All this time we have been drifting on. The shining lure, a 
fresh sardine, has dangled in plain view ten feet below the window. 
Suddenly, up from the abysmal deeps of vivid blue, shoots a 
meteor-like form in green, blue, yeUow and silver. It is a fish four 
feet in length, splendidly active. It darts by the lure and the 
azure sea seems to open as it disappears, as in wild confusion you 
grasp the rod and attempt to stop the shrieking click. You have 
seen through the window the yeUowtail strike, and now the ques*- 
tion is how to land him. 




' Long as a salmon, if not so stout. 
And springy and swift as a mountain trout.' 

Innes Randolph. 

YOUE angler, ancient or modfern, does not give himself over 
entirely" to luck or chance. At a little town outside of 
Herculaneum I noticed a wave of lava from Vesuvius perched 
on the top of a stone wall, arrested in an extraordinary manner. 
My cicerone informed me that the flow had been arrested by a 
statue of the Virgin held up by the local priest. The simple 
villagers took no chances, and not so far away, across the 
Mediterranean beyond Sorrento and Capri, they bring out the 
Virgin to propitiate luck in fishing. In Japan the angler or the 
fisherman appeals to Ebisu, the god of the fishermen, whose 
statue, holding a fish, you may see in all Japanese collections. 
You may buy prayers to Ebisu in the shape of long red ribbons 
of paper, which are to be burned to the god. In very old times 
nearly all fishermen gave votive offerings. It may have been a 
coin tossed into the fountain of Trevi at Eome, or a procession at 
Messina or an offering of eels at the altar of the temple of Neptune. 
To-day the votive offering is more often the salutation, ' good 
luck ! ' or the verse of Walton where Piscator says to Corydon, 
' Propitious fortune bless my floating quUl.' 

When one goes yeUowtail angling, whether in a launch or glass- 
bottom boat, no one wishes him good luck or serves up eels to the 
gods, for the very reason that if there is a yeUowtail about, it is 
more than a chance that he wQl take the lure, as he is the fish of 
the people of Southern California, as the bluefish is to the dwellers 


in the North Atlantic states. I have seen the bay of Avalon^ 
ordinarily as smooth as glass, turned into a miniature mael- 
strom by seemingly ten thousand fishes, and all over twenty 
pounders. They came in like a raging band of wolves and 
tinted the waters of the beautiful crescent a golden hue. The 
roar of the waters quickly attracted the attention of the towns- 
people, and men, women and children ran for lines and rods,, 
and then for the beach. 

I was one of the fortunates who secured a boat and drifted 
in the midst of the utterly frantic school that was driving a large 
shoal of anchovies in upon the shore, charging into the mass, 
glutting themselves, killing from mere blood lust and frenzy,, 
utterly crazed with excitement and lost to all sense of security as- 
they surged along the surface to catch the smaU fry that made 
loud 3plashes, the combined sound of which produced a roar 
as of the sea breaking on some distant beach, while the waters of 
the bay were converted into silvery foam, as though a weird 
windless storm was tearing along the surface. 

The yeUowtails drove the anchovies in upon the beach where 
they formed a solid mass into which the insatiate wolves, for 
such they seemed, plunged. The anglers rapidly increased in 
numbers, and casting out from the beach had strikes on the in- 
stant, as the open water was ahve with big fishes racing up and 
down with the speed oi light. In a short time twenty or more 
yeUowtaUs had been landed and were threshing about on the 
beach, the situation being rendered more animated by the shouts, 
and cries of the victorious anglers on beach or wharf or in boats, 
and by the continual augmentation of numbers with fishing 
tackle of aU sorts and kinds. Thp anglers in boats were being 
towed this and that way, the big fishes breaking the heavy 
hand-lines, taking hooks, or fouling other lines. As I looked 
downward as I played a fish I could see three or four lines be- 
neath me belonging to other boats, all approaching ultimate 
and fatal confusion. 

I had landed in a short time three or four yellowtails, then 



stopped to view the excitement, the result of this extraordinary- 
scene. Children stood, knee-deep, in the water throwing out 
the small fry in pails. Anglers lined the beach, aU endeavouring 
to cast into the throng ; as a consequence, the lines became in- 
extricably fouled or entangled, and a war of words followed. 
Big fish carried away lines or broke them. One man fell off 
the wharf, partly jerked over by a big fish, yet swam, holding 
his rod up, and ultimately saved the game. 

For a half hour this extraordinary ' run ' of yeUowtails 
continued, when they withdrew as suddenly as they had appeared, 
passing up the coast, leaving the population of Avalon, dazed with 
excitement, to collect and count the spoils, which, fortunately, 
<50uld be used and were shipped to Los Angeles. The fish that 
gave this remarkable illustration of its fighting, game and 
pugnacious qualities, is well named the yeUowtaU, but is known 
also as the white salmon, to which it is not related. It looks 
not unhke the chinook salmon, but is longer, more slender, and 
graceful, an ideal fish in form and beauty of personal appearance. 
It is from three to nearly five feet long, and'ranges up to eighty 
pounds in exceptional fishes ; painted with the yellows of 
€ali£ornia in old gold or lemon tints on its tail and fins, while 
from head to tail is a brilliant yellow stripe, making it a marine 
■cavahyman. The upper portion is oUve-green ; the lower a 
bright silver purely minted and without a blemish. The tail is 
powerful and forked. The head large, j aws powerful, mouth large, 
and the eye fuU and brilliantly coloured. The dorsal fin is long 
and prominent, as its specific name dorsalis indicates. 

Such is the fish of the people of Southern California, Seriola 
dorsalis ; a distant cousin of the mackerel-Uke fishes, a near 
aUy of the Florida amber-fish and the httle striped pilot-fishes 
found about sharks and large swordfishes. It has kinsmen in 
numerous amber fishes in various parts of the world, as S. hippos 
of Australia, the ' Sampson fish,' 8. lalandi, of the West Indies 
and east coast of Florida, and the big S. dumerili of the Mediter- 
ranean. I have seen a photograph of a seventy -pound amber fish 

Fig. 27. 
A Lady's Catch. 28 lb. YeUow Tail, by Mrs. M. C. Dickinson, Avalon Bay, Cal., U.S.A. p. 132. 


from Hawaii, and the same fish is known as Ao in Japan. If 
you Avish to trace the ancestry of this splendid fighter a fossil has 
been found in Tuscany that was once the bottom of some ancient 

The yeUowtail is found in its greatest numbers, at its best, 
at San Clemente and Santa Catalina islands, ranging south to 
Mazatlan and north to the bay of Monterey. It is migratory, 
appearing in April and disappearing in December, though if 
the winter is dry, mild and stormless, large numbers remain 
about the islands, and I have taken them from the wharf at 
Avalon every month in the year. Exactly where the myriads of 
these big game fishes go in winter is not known, but I have seen 
individuals taken on the grouper banks in seven hundred feet 
of water in February ; hence they may descend to deep water 
or go offshore to some deep bank into 

' The vast unseen mansions of the deep 
Where secret groves with liquid amber weep, 
Where blushing sprays of knotty coral spread, 
And glint the azure with a deeper red.' 

While this California amber fish charges its prey in shoals, at 
times, in the summer, it breaks up into small groups of four or 
five up to twenty, not swimming together entirely, but associ- 
ating together. So that if you toss over some bait four or five 
fishes may be expected, showing that they are swimming to- 

The tyro can catch the yellowtail providing he has the 
strength, and they are caught daily at Avalon in summer by men, 
women and children. Yet I have seen a woman almost puUed 
overboard by a yellowtail, children jerked from the wharf, and 
men thrown into the toils of the hysterical frenzy of inaction 
known as buck fever to the extent of trembling, dropping the 
rod, completely overwhelmed. This is due to the fact that the 
rush of the fish and its continued struggles are almost irresistible. 
In trolling the fish strikes on the run, the reel makes a blare of 



sounds, and the rush down is a splendid example of power and 
peculiarly characteristic of the fish. Zip-zip-zip ! it wiU go, 
each impetus tearing off feet and yards of line, and there is but 
one thing to do — ^let it go. Then the fish will sulk like a salmon. 
I have often looked down and watched a fish fighting on a friend's 
line, its side against him, head down, fighting every inch and 
foot and fathom, often breaking away to take it all again, never 
giving up. 

I cannot better convey to the indulgent reader my own im- 
pression of the yellowtaU than to describe several days' fishing 
experience with it in May and in September. It should be said 
that the yellowtail is so common, so always in evidence, that 
it is taken as a matter of course, but I venture the opinion that 
there is no fish in the sea of its size and weight, that is a better 
or more sustained and courageous fighter. For this reason the 
directors of the Tuna Club devote particular attention to it in 
deference to these points with a view to prevent the over-fishing 
of the free biter and to elevate its catch to a high standard, with 
fair play as a basis. In other words, the yeUowtail is a splendid 
game fish, and the Club insists that its members, at least, shall give 
it the advantage. Hence when an angler takes a thirty or forty 
pounder on Tuna Club tackle he has accomplished something 
worth the while, and proved himself an angler of finesse and 
skiU. The prizes are given in the chapter on Angling Clubs. 

The tackle is of two kinds : (1) the nine-ounce rod. This was 
devised by Mr. Arthur Jerome Eddy of Pasadena and Chicago, 
and is sufficiently large to take a sixty- or seventy-pound fish in an 
hour or so. It was with this tackle that Mr. Wm. H. Simpson of 
Whalley, Lancashire, England, took the record fish of the Club, 
sixty and one half pounds. This fine fish, which has never been 
beaten, has been placed in the fish department of the British 
Museum, with a replLca of the rod and line ; (2) the so-called 3-6 
rod. This was suggested by Mr. T. McDaniel Potter of Los Angeles, 
a director of the Club, to render the capture of the yellowtail 
more diificult. The 3-6 Club was organized to specialize the 


tackle, but is a class of the Tuna Club. So many ' buttons ' 
and prizes may seem puerile and unnecessary to the seasoned 
a'Ugler, but there is method in the madness. Thousands of men 
visit the islands and nearly all fish. It is fair to say that fifty 
per cent, have never heard of the ethics or high standards of 
sport, or even dreamed that a fish should be given a fighting 
chance for its life. If such men were not attended to, and taught, 
they would go out with four or five hand-lines or small ropes and 
their definition of sport would be to see how many fish they could 
bring in. In 1886 this was the every-day disgrace of the most 
beautiful sea angling region in the world. Boats went out with a 
number of hand-Unes and tons of yellowtails were brought in, 
many to be hung up and photographed, then thrown into the 

Listen to William C. Prime on this subject in I Go a-FisMng, 
written years ago : 

' There is always that distinction to keep in mind between going to get 
fish and going a-fishing. There is no possibility of convincing the general 
run of people that the old angler has his enjoyment in the going for fish, 
and that the getting of fish is but a minor part of the day's pleasure. 
This distinction grows more and more marked as we grow older, The 
young angler — I speak of young in experience, not young in years — ^the 
angler who has not had many years of enjoyment in the gentle art, counts 
much on the fullness of his basket, on the rivahy with companions, on the 
glitter of his catch, when to appreciate the innumerable joys which dwell 
on the banks and in the waters of the rivers and lakes, and which are 
surely to be taken whenever one goes a-fishing. And therefore the old 
angler has always a successful day, catching that which he went out to 
catch with great certainty, and coming home with a load of beauty in his 
heart, and beauty to talk and teU about, though there be not a fish in his 

It was to stop- this gross over-fishing, and to inculcate an 
idea of sport as it is understood by civiHzed people, by gentle- 
men, that the Tuna Club is organized for gentlemen, and it is 
a matter of gratification to the distinguished men who joiaed 
the Club, and lent to it their moral support, that a complete 



and utter change has been brought about at this greatest of the 
"world's angling centres. There is not a boatman at Avalon who 
"will provide a patron with a hand-line. Such an appliance is not 
-carried, and you must fish according to the fair and eminently 
just rules of the Club or take a rowboat and row yourself. The 
result is that the outfit of the men, the fine rods and reels, the 
sportsmanlike lines, appeal to the novice and he tries for the 
buttons or the various prizes, valued at several thousand dollars, 
offered by the Club in all classes of angling. The result has 
been, the Club has stopped the waste, inculcated a fine sports- 
manlike feeling, and caused the adoption of a high standard, 
that has been copied by aUied clubs and associations aU over 
the country. The club considers this a step toward the con- 
summation of the hoped-for conservation of the sea fishes, a 
desideratum devoutedly needed aU over America. I trust the 
reader will pardon this digression, which will suggest that the 
anglers of America and England have the honour of the sport at 
heart, and that a killing is not the only object in view. 

In fishing for yellowtail it is usual to use either a 6/° or 
10/° hook when the fish run to but twenty-five pounds, and 
sardine bait with a short-swivelled piano-wire leader. If the 
fish are running up to forty pounds, as they frequently do at 
San -Clemente, where Mr. Simpson took his sixty and one-half 
pound fish, a larger hook is used, of the O'Shaughnessey type, 
and the bait is a flying fish, which is about eighteen inches long, 
weighing from a pound to a pound and a half. The line is 
doubled for six or eight feet near the wire leader or trace. The 
fish is gaffed, never netted, the gaff handle beiag five or eight 
feet long and often fastened to the launch with a rope. 

Such a bait is paid out from the multiplying reel, which holds 
six hundred feet of Une, until the eighty or one hundred feet is out ; 
then the launch moves slowly alongshore, at times not one hundred 
feet from it, following the line of kelp with which the islands here 
are surrounded. The ground is in the lee, and while twenty or 
forty miles offshore, the water is smooth as an inland lake, pro- 

Fig. 28. Yellow Tail Fishing. Light Tackle (6-oz. Rods, 6 Thread Lines). 
Experts of the Tuna Club, California, U.S.A., Playing 25-pound Albacore and Yellow 
Tail on 6-oz. Rods, off Cabrillo Santa Catalina, California. 

1. Mr. H. Ormsby Phillips, of Pasadena, at a critical moment. 2. Mr. Joseph Banning's 
Rod after 30 minutes. 3. Mr. Banning playing a Bonito. 4. Going Home — ^the 
boatmen steering with long strings fastened to the wheel amidships. 5. Mr. Phillips's 
Catch with a 6-oz. Rod. (Photo by Mr. H. Ormsby Phillips and Mr. Banning), p. 156. 


tected by the lofty cliffs or mountains. The water is a blue of 
ittdescribable beauty and intensity, and filled "with radiant jelly 
fishes and other forms, and affording vistas into the haUs and 
parterres formed by the kelpian forests which, olive-hued, are 
veritable palaces of the sea and through which the blue of the 
ocean forms a splendid picture. 

WMle passing the lofty cliffs which reach away up into deep 
canons, we may glance at the convenient equipment of the anglers. 
If he is angling with 3-6 or very Ught tackle he wears a belt with a 
leather socket in which he places the butt of the rod when he is. 
playing the fish, thus obtaining a fulcrum ; or he may use a. 
flat-face rubber cap that fits on to the silver tip of the butt, and 
which can be pressed against the body without trouble. If he 
is using a heavier rod there is attached to his seat, between his 
legs, a larger socket for the butt. This is really intended for 
tuna, swordfish and black sea bass — a necessary fulcrum ; but 
it can be used for a large yellowtail. 

When the strike comes, the engineer, gaffer and steersman, 
who sits directly behind the angler (who are seated in comfort- 
able chairs facing the stern), stops the boat and allows the angler 
to play the fish to a finish, and generally in twenty minutes it is 
brought to the gaff. If the fishes are extremely plentiful the 
launch is stopped altogether and allowed to drift, while the 
boatman tosses over sardines or anchovies and keeps the yellow- 
tails about the boat, the angler casting for them with a short 
Une. Nearly all the yellowtail fishing is between Avalon bay and 
Church Eock, within five or six miles, or about a large sea-hon 
rookery. The fleet of twenty or thirty launches reaches the 
ground in an hour or less ; is always inshore near the rocks, and 
generally, when the conditions are at their best, obtain between 
eight and twelve yellowtaUs, averaging twenty-five pounds — 
a satisfying bag. 

While the yeUowtafl wiU come within a few feet of the boat, 
and take a bait, and at times wiU take any lure, and can be 
caught by the merest tyro, he is again a very CagUostro of the 



sea in cleverness and tranquil obliviousness to the "wiles of the 

In May, 1912, Dr. Gifford Pinctot, ex-U.S. Forester in the 
Eoosevelt regime, joined me at Santa Catalina and by nine 
o'clock one morning we were fifteen miles up the island at Ship 
Eock, a peak-like rock which rises precipitously a mile off Cabrillo 
near the Isthmus. The ocean was perfectly calm, and we had 
no sooner arrived than we saw large yeUowtails in or near the 
kelp, and the moment a sardine bait sank twenty feet, not ten feet 
from the Eock, we both had strikes. The boatman unme- 
diately started the launch offshore and we held the fish to keep 
them out of the kelp for which they will make. Once well out he 
stopped, and we played two of the hardest fighting fish any one 
would wish to hook, and their desperate plays, rushes and surges, 
threatening rod and line. The fishes gaffed, we moved in again 
until the cutwater of the launch almost hit the moss-covered 
rock down from which hung the weird but resplendent draperies 
of the sea. The water was as blue as liquid sapphire, and clear 
as crystal. Into it Felice Jos6 Presiado, which is Mexican Joe's 
real name, would toss a handful of anchovies, at which, out of 
the depths, as though summoned by a genie, would come the 
splendid golden-vestured forms of six or ten large yellowtaUs. 
Over we cast with but ten or twenty feet of line out. Presto ! 
bang-sip-zee ! and the game was on, without the slightest delay. 

I am not going to weary the indulgent reader by prolonging 
this fantasy piscatorial, but we continued, experimenting with 
all sorts of tackle and rods to observe the relative power of the 
fishes, until we had landed fourteen, none of which weighed less 
than twenty pounds and some I think ranged up to thirty pounds. 
Every fish was a fighter in the best condition, and each one forced 
us to play fifteen, twenty or more minutes, at a rate that would 
have worn out any one not accustomed to it. As it was, I put 
most of the work on my indulgent companon by shirking my share. 

This was a typical day's fishing. In September I found my- 
self a guest of Judge Banning in his summer home at Cabrillo, 


overlooking Ship Eock, and telling the story of our remarkable 
luck. It resulted in my going out with Mr. J. B. Banning, Jr., 
and a young lady angler who was desirous to see so animated a 
scene. We had the Eock to ourselves. The conditions were 
much the same as on the occasion related, though it was blowing ; 
but in the lee of the big rock the water was smooth. Acting as 
boatman, I tossed over a handful of anchovies, and with the 
abandon which comes with successes summoned the game from 
the deeps. I was eminently successful, as up out of the beautiful 
water appeared six or more huge yeUowtaUs, twenty-five and 
thirty pounders. They came directly to the surface, not five 
or ten feet from the boat, making the water boil, shooting here 
and there, turning in graceful curves and picking up the ancho- 
vies one by one — a sight for the gods, especially the Tritons and 
those who go a-fishing. Quickly the anchovies were all eaten 
and all that was left were the two deKcious baits sinking lower 
and lower. 

It is needless to dwell upon this painful scene, but the facts 
are, being patient and persistent anglers, determined to give 
that young lady a fish, Mr. Banning and I fed those demure and 
educated monsters from nine in the morning until one o'clock 
in the afternoon, and they ate and ate and ate, very much as 
' A flsherwoman had chestnuts in her lap, and munched, and 
munched, and munched.' 

Taking the free bait, alongside, deep, at the surface, and in 
every fashion, but never that I could see did they once glance at 
the same bait that concealed the hook. There are times when 
patience slips from the monument and scowls at grief, and I 
can but draw a veil over the miemory of this painful experience, 
which has occurred more than once in the experience of every 
angler, whether with yellowtail, trout, salmon or tuna, and which 
illustrates the astuteness and cleverness and adds to the value 
as a game fish of the famous yellowtail. 

If this fish could be taken in shallow water it would have no 
equal in the world, as it would have all the tricks of the salmon 



excepting that of leaping, and twice its strength. But once did 
I have the game in such a location. This was at San Clemente, 
where there is a wide ledge of shallow water between Mosquito 
Canon and the Hook at the east end. There is, perhaps, two 
acres of water here of a depth of ten or fifteen feet. One morning 
I discovered a big school of yeUowtails weU inshore. I made a 
cast into the school, hooked a big one, and enjoyed its splendid 
play on the surface for a half hour. At one time it had nearly 
five hundred feet of line out in a splendid rush directly on the 
surface. Then I stood up on the stern deck and having the fish 
on a six-ounce rod, bade my boatman to go after it at fuU speed, 
while I reeled. 

So we played it, rushing this and that way. The moment I 
got near it the fine creature would turn and dash up the coast 
to the north, taking nearly all my six hundred feet by the time 
we turned. Then we went after it at racing speed, shouting with 
laughter and excitement, cheered on by the spectators in several 
boats, and all in water as clear and smooth as a lake. I nearly 
had the fish before it discovered the game I was playing, then it 
made a sudden rush past us and seaward, reached the edge of 
blue water, and like a meteor, dashed down the side of the 
submerged mountaia into the depths from which I was forced 
to ' pump ' it up — a startling contrast to the joy and excitement 
of the few moments before. 

At times when the yeUowtadl wiU not bite it can be taken by 
lowering the bait to the bottom, and tE the angler wiU take a car 
filled with live sardines and tow it, using live bait, he may always 
catch them. At least I have never known them to resist this 
lure, though I am prepared to believe, so clever is the fish, 
that such an occasion might arise. It is said that sea fishes 
are not intelligent, but I recaU at least two exceptions : the 
gray snapper of Florida, and the yeUowtail or amber fish of 
Santa CataUna; the finest trace cannot deceive them. As a 
rule, the yeUowtail will bite and it constitutes the largest and 
surest catch in this region of great game fishes. Some of the 

Fig. 29. 



rod records of the Tuna Club of Santa Catalina Island are as 
follows : 

Largest Yellowtail (Seriola dorsalis). 

F. V. Rider, Avalon, Cal., season 1898 

F. S. Gerrish, Jacksonville, Fla., season 1899. 

R. F. Stocking, Los Angeles, Cal., season 1899 

T. S. Manning, Avalon, Cal., season 1901 

Dr. Trowbridge, Fresno, Cal., season 1902 

F. P. Newport, Los Angeles, Cal., season 1903 

H. Meyst, Chicago, Bl., season 1904 .... 

I. E. Pflueger, Akron, Ohio, season 1905 

^A. A. Carraher, Avalon, Cal., season 1906 . 

1 Edward C. Sacks, Butte, Mont., season 1907 

^t. W. W. Simpson, England, season 1908 

iC. E. Ellis, Spokane, Wash., season 1909 . 

2C. G. Conn, Avalon, Cal, winter season 1909-1910 

^Dr. B. F. Alden, San Francisco, season 1910 

^Mrs. Eveljme Garrett, Los Angeles, winter season 1910-11 

1 Morris, S. PhiUips, Redlands, Cal., season 1911 

_ » 

^ Taken under tackle specifications of Light Tackle Class. 
^ Taken under tackle specifications of Three-Six Class. 

41 pounds 






























1 1 i6i 



' A shoal of dolphins tumbling in wild glee. 
Glowed with such orient tints, they might have been 
The rainbow's offspring, where it met the ocean.' 


THE game fishes of the Pacific coast of North America are 
so large, and their captm'e on light tackle has attracted 
so much attention, that the small fry are completely lost sight 
of except by local anglers. 

The long mainland beaches of California, in the majority of 
instances without rocks or anything to relieve them, receive the 
heavy swell of the Pacific, raised by a local wind incorrectly 
called ' trade,' which comes up about noon daily and by two 
or three o'clock is a fresh, stirring breeze. Early in the morning 
it may be dead calm, but by eleven or twelve o'clock this mysteri- 
ous breeze begins. It is moderate in Southern California, but 
after Point Concepcion is passed, in about latitude thirty-two 
degrees, it is felt more severely. 

This surf keeps off most of the fishes except at such localities 
as San Luis Obispo, Monterey and Eedondo, where fairly deep 
water comes in near shore. But in the surf are found certain 
fishes which afford no little sport, and from the lines of the rail- 
way south of Los Angeles, and between it and San Diego, many 
anglers will be seen either standing on the sands, like the New 
Jersey anglers, or wading in and casting. The fish so caught is 
very attractive, known as the kingfish or CalLEornia whiting 
(Menticirrus undulatus). Others, caught off sandy beaches 


alongshore, are the yellow-fln, roncador {Umbrina roncador), 
the California Roncador stearnsi, also caUed the ' spot-fin croaker,' 
from the spot or black ocellus at the base of the pectoral fin. 
There is also a little roncador (croaker) in California, Gewyonemus 
Uneatus. The roncador or yellow-fin has been taken by Mr. 
T. McD. Potter outside the surf on sandy bottom at Silver Canon, 
Santa CataUna Island, and is one of the most beautiful fishes of 
these waters ; ablaze with golden-yeUow tints, its fins a bright 

One might fish for some of these fishes forever with sardine 
bait, and never catch one. They have a penchcmi for clam bait, 
abalone or crab, particularly the former, and by using a light 
rod no little sport can be had. Herein lies the sport to be found 
at many unexpected places — the tackle should be graded to suit 
the game. To fish for roncador with fish bait at Santa CataUna 
or San Clemente, or at the long beaches on the mainland, would 
draw a blank ; they must have the proper bait. To fish for these 
four-, five- or six-pound fishes with a sixteen-ounce rod is to 
draw a ' sporting ' blank — as they are slaughtered. A stiff trout 
rod is more to the point, and with it the angler will find enjoyment. 

This is true of many small fishes of the CaUfornian coast. 
The angler in trolling for yellowtail or white sea bass is often 
annoyed by the rock bass, a fish which ranges up to eight or 
more pounds, but averages three or four pounds. On a heavy rod 
this fish gives up at once ; it is obliged to, and so has become 
known as a pest. If the angler will rig up a two- or three-ounce, 
ten-foot split cane or bamboo rod with a fight finen fine, and fish 
with a small sardine or a small spoon, he will find fair sport with 
these attractive fishes, whose name is legion, and which have the 
most beautiful eyes of all the fishes — ^veritable gems, blue, green 
and gold. The common name for these fishes is rock-bass. The 
Green rock-bass, Sebastodm flavidus, the Black rock-bass, 
S. mystitmis, the Orange rock-bass or Easciera, 8. miniatus. 
This is a very large and richly coloured group of fishes. Some 
allied forms are called Groupers — rich red fishes, but beyond 



the reach of rod fishermen, and taken with hand-lines in six hun- 
dred feet of water. 

Possibly the finest game fish of this region among the small 
fishes is the Blanquillo or whitefish, Caulolatilus princeps. This 
is peculiar to Southern California and found principally at the 
islands, San Glemente being a favourite locality. When fishing 
with Dr. Gifford Pinchot in 1910 we found a rock one day rising 
to within ten feet of the surface then dropping to a great depth. 
The side of this precipice was richly covered with weed, and 
aUve with fishes of many tones. The zone of thirty or forty feet 
was evidently devoted to the blanquUlo, as the moment the Ixire 
reached this depth the strike came, and a sb'ght jerk sufficed to 
inaugurate the sport, that was always fast and furious. The 
fishes were twelve or fifteen inches long and some weighed ten 
or twelve pounds, giving on our little 3-6 rods sport of the finest 

There was but one drawback ; it was practically impossible 
to get the bait down without hooking a fish, and in a short time 
it paUed on us — ^an excellent illustration of the fact that while 
angling is supposed to be the taking of fishes, if the angler catches 
too many he loses interest in the sport. What makes angling a 
sport and saves it from market fishing, is the uncertainty and the 
fact that nearly all fishes are capricious, and it rarely happens 
that the angler catches more than he desires. 

I took so many whitefishes that day on the side of that beauti- 
ful mountain of the sea, up whose sapphire sides Queen Gulnare 
might have appeared at any moment, that I have never felt 
quite the same regarding a blanquillo since. Yet our consciences 
were free as there were several Venetian fishermen of Los Angeles 
near by, to whom all we could catch was a gift from the gods, a 
fish panic being on, or rather a stringency, which I firmly believe 
we alleviated. 

The blanquillo is a demure fish, yet attractive in its quiet 
colours. It resembles a dolphin somewhat, having a large high 
head and a long splendid dorsal and ventral fin. Its colour is 











olive -witli flashes of blue and lavender. It is a most graceful 
fish ia the water and game in every sense if the angler will always 
remember the light rod and generous light tackle. The best 
fishing I have had with the blanquUlo was when the current 
(tidal) was running at San Olemente. By tossing out bait 
the fishes were induced to come to the surface thirty or forty feet 
astern of the yacht, and could be taken without sinkers. 

The reader will be impressed by the fact that Southern Cali- 
fornia has so many fishes peculiar to that particular region. 

' Out ia the golden sunshine, 
Throw we the net and line, 
The silvery lines to-day, 
Mash in the silvery spray. 
So throw the line, throw-yo, heave-ho.' 

If Merivale had thrown the line at Santa CataUna for white- 
fish he would often have taken a fish called the sheepshead, but 
not related to the fish of that name in Florida. It has a pro- 
digious head, well domed, like the swordfish ; in the males striped 
black^and red ; the under jaw vivid white, the lower jaw black. 
The head is as black as velvet ; its eyes are red, and unlike those 
of most fishes, are very moveable and have a fashion of roaming 
around in a comical manner. The females are hable to be aU 
red or brown, or almost white, and do not have the big-domed 
forehead or the stripes. 

The sheepshead is taken in rocky places ; in fact, it prefers 
such, but is fond of roaming into shallow water with sandy bottom, 
and is a very curious and sociable fish. It will take sardine bait 
when hungry, but prefers crab, crayfish, clam or ablone, and 
with its sheepUke teeth, projecting, sharp and stout, it is capable 
of capturing any of this food. The ten or fifteen pounders are 
fine fighters, and intersperse long rushes and runs with a variety of 
manoeuvres, calculated to try the heart of light rods and lines 
which should be employed. This fish is very amenable to friendly 
advances. I had an individual under view ia an aquarium for 
some months where it became very tame, and would poise and 



permit the keeper to scratch, its back, which suggests that there 
is such a thing as tickling a salmon. 

In these prolific waters, the heart of the Black Current of 
Japan, that like a vast river of the ocean, flows down the Santa 
Catalina channel, tempering the surrounding country, the watch- 
ful angler is always being surprised at some new arrival or some 
fish which by all rights belongs to the tropics, lower Mexico, 
Hawaii or Japan. The rarest and most beautiful fishes of the 
world appear to be fairly common here. I venture to say that 
almost every opah, or ribbon fish (Begalecus) ever taken is a 
matte rof record, and the well posted ichthyologist can tell you in 
which museum each one is to be found. A twenty-five foot 
specimen of the ribbon fish was picked up near Newport Landing", 
and I have seen five or six at Avalon, and had the really wonder- 
ful luck of seeing one ahve and secured a photograph of it. 
Another was seen by a diver from a glass-bottom boat. The 
men went down into the long kelp leaves and caught the long 
sluggish ribbon of silver and brought it to the surface. It was 
over ten feet in length, about a half inch thick, and six or eight 
inches high, with a splendid series of vermiUon plumes over its 
head the dorsal spines. 

In the Tuna Club at Avalon you may see the rare Luvarus Jack. 
I have never met a person who has observed the fish. It weighed 
twenty or more pounds, was two feet high — a gleaming mass of 
silver, with scarlet fins. More dazzling yet is the opah, which 
resembles a sunfish in shape, but is a veritable moon, with a 
wonderful and ethereal investment of colours, a disc of silver 
veiled in old rose. The specimen in the Tuna Club was taken in a 
net, but a Long Beach angler caught one when trolling in the 
San Clemente channel. The opah and Luvarus are game fishes, 
but this is probably the first one ever taken with a Une. 

These fishes, excepting the Luvarus and opah, are taken with 
medium-weight rods, but there are many smaller fishes here 
which should be fished for with five- or six-ounce rods. If this is 
done, good sport will be the result. Under this head I would 


include the Californian mackerel, which differs from the Eastern 
form ; a livelier game fish, but not so palatable. I have taken 
these fishes on an eight-ounce ten-foot trout rod and had ex- 
cellent sport, the two or three pounders making savage rushes, 
and in strength comparable to four- or five-pound trout. The 
mackerel are taken here from wharves, or from boats troUing, but 
the most satisfactory method is to find the school, and lie off and 
cast for them. 

In shallow water is found a group of three little fishes which 
are rarely caught in these waters as they are found mainly at the 
islands where the big fishes fiU the eye. When they are tried, 
anglers overlook the fact that they have a very small mouth 
requiring a small hook, and they do not take fish bait ; crayfish, 
abalone or crab appealing to them entirely. They are the blue- 
eyed perch, the blacksmith, and the so-called pompano, not a 
pompano at all. The former attains a weight of six pounds, and 
is a very muscular plump fish, with beautiful eyes. On a trout 
rod it will surprise the angler by the wild rushes it makes, testing 
a light rod to the limit. Here also is the long silvery jack smelt, 
caught with the rod, calling to mind the bony fish ; the sea-trout, 
or bluefish, really a Cynoscion, or squeteague. In the bays will 
be found schools of lusty mxdlet, taken by some anglers with the 
rod by means of dough, or some equally marvellous ' portions.' 

From the literary deeps of some of the ancient authors 
receipts of extraordinary baits can be had. We are told by John 
Williamson, Gent., to use pastes and various unguents, and he 
drops into rhyme to impress it upon the memory thus : 

' To fish with nat'ral flies whene'er you chuse, 
Observe the season, and provide for use ; 
Observe the fish, as round for Prey they rove, 
And take your Baits where best they seem to love. 
For search aU Nature, and this Truth you'll find, 
Variety, that Mistress of Mankind, 
Is not to Species, nor to Sex confin'd.' 

Then we are advised to boil down the leg of a young kitten, 



"with wax and sheep-suet, mixed with bean or wheat flour. If 
you wish to force a fish to bite try the following, by Monsieur 
Charras, Apothecary Eoyal to the French king, Louis XIV : 

Equal parts of Man's Fat, Cat's Fat, powdered Mummy, cum- 
min-seed, oil of Anise and Spike, two grains of Civet, and Camphire. 
Anoint the last six inches of the line with an ointment made of 
these ingredients audit will be found irresistible : a Tear of Gum 
Ivy is recommended, with half an ounce of Assafoetida. This 
is said to be very fetching for gudgeons. Any of these baits 
would not only arrest the attention of a muUet, but could be 
depended on to arrest the attention of Banquo's ghost. 

The various towns of California, as Santa Monica, Eedondo, 
Long Beach, STewport, Huntington Beach, l^aples, Ocean Park, 
Venice and others have extraordinary piers running out into the 
sea beyond the breakers. S'o conmierce is expected, ships come 
not nor do they go, except at Eedondo ; in fact, the more 
elaborate the dock, the more debarred is it, apparently, from the 
possibility of a ship landing there, though at one pier there is a 
replica of the ship which bore Cabrillo, the discoverer, to these 
waters. But this is bogus, being a restaurant and resting on 
logs, hke the ship ' S'onesuch ' of fable — ' with-three decks and 
no bottom.' 

The explanation of these piers, with no hope or expectation 
or wish for commerce, is that they are fishing or angling piers, 
virtual vUlages in some instances of shops, built out into the 
ocean. On some when the fish are running you may see two or 
more hundred men, women and children, aU fishing with long 
bamboo rods for surf-fish, roncador, sea-trout, jack-smelt, 
mackerel, croakers, and hoping for yeUowtail, sea-bass and big 
game which frequently come. ISo better evidence that there 
is a love of angling among all peoples can be seen than in this 
angling contingent, some of whom sleep on the piers Saturday 
night, or hard by, to secure a position Sunday when aU the 
piers are crowded. It is free fishing, and on each pier is a shop 
where one can rent or purchase rod, reel and line and all kinds 


Fig. 31. Small Game Fishes (Fly Rod) of Southern California Shores and Isbnd. 

1. Blacksmith Fish. 2. Roncador (Croaker). 3. White Perch. 4. Spot Perch. 5. Surf 
Fish. 6. Striped Perch. (Photographed from life, by Reyes at Avalon). p. 168. 


of bait. Often great quantities of fish are taken, and the patience 
of Ovid and Oppian is exemplified as a virtue of the ages. 

There is a fine halibut taken on sandy bottom in Southern 
California, the Tuna Club having a record sixty pounder ; but 
smaller specimens are the rule, taken in lagoons and at the 
mouth of the island canons. In deep water, but found at the 
surface, in shoals or schools, is a beautiful little fish, the bonito. 
I should call it the humming-bird of the sea, so radiant is it, so 
bathed in myriads of colours and tints. It is a mackerel-like 
fish, a cousin of the tunas ; very thick-set, but a type of activity, 
its tail moving so rapidly that it can scarcely be seen. I have 
taken this little fish within a few feet of the shore at Santa CataUna, 
where it abounds in countless numbers. The most interesting 
place to observe it is a mile off Avalon in the sapphire-blue of the 
Kuro-shiwo. Here great bands of bordtos roam with the 
albacore, and when the launch is stopped and the boatman tosses 
over a handful of bait to attract the fish the sight is an extraor- 
dinary one. The ocean is a vivid blue ; dark when cloudy, a 
light turquoise when the sun shines. Great beams of light can 
be seen penetrating the deeps, illuming the myriads of iridescent 
and translucent animals which flU every drop of this semi-tropic 
sea. The result is that a wealth of weird and fascinating animals 
are exhibited and seemingly magnified, their colours being 
brilliant and beautiful beyond expression. Here are bands of 
minute crustaceans of every hue of the rainbow, gems of the 
' dark unfathomed caves,' so like the real gems that the name 
SappMrinae has been given them. Some are sapphires, others 
pink diamonds ; here a group of rubies or emeralds ; others again 
range from Kunzite to tourmaline, all so minute that when placed 
imder the naked eye they can scarcely be seen. Yet when 
drifting in this cerulean sea it has the appearance at times of 
having been dusted with gems. 

Pulsating, into these living gems comes a Uving comet Avith a 
head a foot or two feet across. Its colour is that of ice, variegated 
with bands of dark lavender. Away from it extends a sweeping 



tail fifteen or twenty feet in Length, tinted, splashed with pink 
and lavender. Other jelly-fishes as large as the closed fist are 
turquoise of the more delicate hue, while here and there the most 
delicate and radiant forms appear, from the classic shape of 
Circe to the glorious Pyrosoma which illumines the sea at night. 

Such are but a few of the forms which fill this blue sun-room of 
the upper ocean, up through which the little bonito rushes, its back 
coloured by the artist that painted the blue of the eternal deeps ; 
a living tourmaUne that is even more beautiful when caught, 
its silvery skin blazing and flashing with ten thousand tints and 
coruscations. Well can the angler hesitate to devastate the 
sea. At least these delightful objects are among the compensa- 
tions when the fish do not bite, as is sometimes the case. 

There is another, the oceanic bonito, a larger, longer fish, 
taken in the spring months off the islands of Santa Catalina and 
San Clemente. It runs up to fifteen pounds and is a game fish in 
every sense. When coursing these radiant seas in pursuit of 
game of various kinds, the angler often goes several miles at sea 
to the southwest of Santa Catalina in what he calls the ' doldrums,' 
or a point where the wind dies down and is nearly always a dead 
calm, due to the lee afforded by the island. Here great patches of 
kelp often collect, under which at times are found the re- 
splendent dolphin, CorypJiaena Mppurus. In the heroic poem, 
' The Shield of Heracles,' supposed by some to be by Hesiod, 
we read : 

' And in the midst, 
FuU many dolphins chased the fry and showed 
As though they swam the waters, to and fro. 
Darting tumultuous. Two of silver scale 
Panting above the wave, the fishes mute 
Gorged, that beneath them shook their quivering fins.' 

This is the fish which changes colour so rapidly and presents 
so amazing an appearance as it comes in. Montgomery in his 
Pdican Island, says : 


' A shoal of dolphins tumbling in wild glee, 
Glowed with such orient tints they might have been 
The rainbow's offering, where it met the ocean.' 

The Tuna Club has a dolphin cup, presented by Dr. Mattison, 
and recognizes the beautiful fish as one of the hard fighters of the 
sea, comparing well with the yellowtail. I have seen them 
caught off the Santa CataUna ' doldrums,' and lying on the 
deck, I gazed down into the deep blue water and saw this 
golden-green harlequin of the sea come slowly up on Mr. Potter's 
liae, changing colour from green to yellow to old gold, blue and 
other hues — a marvellous spectacle. I have taken the Atlantic 
species from among the sargasso weed patches not far from 
Bahama, and in the Gulf Stream, and know it to be a fine game 
fish. But it has never been my good fortune to take one in 
California though I have hunted the seas many days. 

Another rare fish at Santa Catalina, game in every sense, is 
the Lady fish, Albula vulpes, that has been taken here and at 
Santa Monica two feet in length. It is a singular appearing 
silvery fish that performs many strange antics when hooked. 
Approximating the English conger, taken by the members of 
the British Sea Anglers Society, is a murray, common in South- 
ern California, also called the Conger eel {Gymnothoraso modax). 
Specimens over six feet in length and weighing forty pounds 
have been taken. It is a ferocious appearing fish and coils like a 
snake, and looks Uke one. 

The California barracuda, Sphyraena argentea, is one of the 
commonest of the small game fishes, arriving in vast schools 
early in the spring, and breaking up. It is taken with rod and 
reel near shore. Its maximum size is about fifteen pounds. 
On a light rod it wiU often make an interesting play, but call- 
ing to mind the fresh-water pickerel. 

The Spanish mackerel, Scomberomorus sierra, is taken at 
Santa Catalina and San Clemente occasionally, but is not com- 
mon. Equally rare is the Pomfret, Brama rati, while the 



California pompano, PepHlus simillima, is very common at 
times at Santa Catalina near Seal Eocks. Other small but 
common fishes often caught are ' Johnny Verde,' Paraldbrax 
nebulifer, the spotted Cdbrilla, and the Medialv/na, the latter 
particularly common at Santa Catalina and a fine game fish 
of three or four pounds when caught on a trout rod. A small 
hook is necessary, and the fish will not take fish bait unless very 
hungry ; crayfish, clam or abalone (haKotis) is the lure of its 
choice. I have found Long Point, five miles from Avalon, an 
especially good place for this attractive blue-tinted little fish. 

There are a number of small sharks on the Southern Cali- 
fornian coast which afford the same sport as the British tope. 
One known as the leopard shark, very common in Catahna 
Harbour, attains a weight of sixty pounds and leaps when hooked. 
The young bonito sharks, caught in the open ocean, four or five 
feet ia length, are also game worthy the name, and leap high and 
weU when in the toils. 

The list of smaU fishes of this locality, which could be fairly 
included under the head of game fishes, is very large, suggestive 
of the sport available to the angler who does not care for the 
more strenuous exercise with the greater game. I am indebted 
to Mr. Charles V. Barton of the Tuna Club for the following 
data of the small shore fishes, on which he is an authority : 

' The principal game fish of Southern California waters taken from 
shore or pier with hook and line are the California surf-wMting (Menticirrhus 
undulatus), the yeUow-fin and the spot-fin croaker (Roncador sfearnsi). 

' The California surf-whiting, by reason of its gameness and superior 
excellence as food, leads aU the rest in the fancy of the Southern Cali- 
fornia hght-tackle angler. It ranges from a quarter of a pound to ten 
pounds in weight. Eight and a half pounds is the largest registration on 
the records of the Southern California Rod and Reel Club. It is an ex- 
tremely powerful fish, living as it does in or near the surf, and its body is 
shaped so as to withstand the crash and pressure of the breakers. Its 
principal food is the sand-crab, so called, which burrows in the wet sand 
and is washed into the water by the receding rollers. 

' The flesh of the surf-whitiag is firm, sweet, and daiuty, and is preferred 
by many to that of any other salt-water fish. This fish is also known 





































locally as " surf-fish " and " corbina," but called erroneously by the 
Mexicans " scarbina." 

' The best specimens are taken by casting from the beach into the surf, 
though the larger proportion of anglers fish from the pier. Beach fishing 
necessitates wading into the surf, making a very hard day's work. Tackle 
used is the regulation nine-ounce rod and nine-thread line, though many 
use a six-ounce rod and six-thread line. Recently some anglers have 
brought the four-ounce rod equipped with a six-thread line iuto use. 
Any lighter line frays quickly in the flinty sand. 

' Large clams or sand-crabs are used for bait, and hooks ranging from 
number five to number two according to the conditions. Three hooks 
and a three-ounce sinker are commonly used. 

' The California surf -whiting fights hard, never giving up so long as 
an atom of strength remains. It is also " foxy," and the inexpert angler 
finds that there is many a sUp between the strike and the landing. It is 
a past master in the cunning art of freeing its mouth from the hook. It 
is a finny foeman worthy of any angler's skUl. The surf-whiting is taken 
from Mexican waters up to Santa Barbara, although few are taken 
north of Santa Monica bay. 

' The yeUow-fin, though not a roncador or croaker, is in many respects 
a second cousin, at least it is a game fish, but has not the endurance or 
smartness of the surf-whiting. It goes as high as five or six pounds in 
weight. It is taken in the surf, or directly back of the breakers, as a 
usual thing, though many contend that it is a deep-water fish. It runs 
in schools, and has a Uking for coming in with the evening fiood-tide to 
feed on sand-crabs. It strikes " hke a house afire," but tires faster than 
the surf-whiting, and is apt to hook itseK more securely. 

' The warm months are best for catching both the surf -whiting and the 
yellow-fin, though a few are taken the year round. The yeUow-fin 
seem to go to deep water during the cold months ; the sittf-whiting is 
seen in great numbers in winter but it is loath to take the hook. 

' The spot-fin croaker {Boncador stearnsi) really and truly " croaks." 
It has a large black spot at the base of the pectoral fins, whence its name. 
It goes as high as fourteen or fifteen pounds in weight. The largest 
taken with hook and line in recent years weighed a Uttle over twelve 
pounds. The croaker is a powerful, dogged fighter, and the big fellows 
strain fight tackle to the limit in heavy surf and near the barnacle - 
incrusted piles of the piers ; but it is not in the class of the surf -whiting. 
The sppt-fin croaker is edible, but does not rank with the surf -whiting, 
pompano, sea-trout, and others that might be named. 

' The yeUow-fin roncador {UmbrirM roncador) is a beautiful fish, and a 
HveUer fighter than its cousin the spot-fin croaker. 

' There is also a fish called locally the china croaker, with a broad black 



band across one shoulder ; but it is neither as large nor as plentiful as the 
spot-fin. AU the croakers are taken the year round in the breakers, 
back of the breakers, and in the bays. The same tackle is used for yellow- 
fin and croakers as for the surf-whiting. 

' Fismo clams, a large quahaug clam, are used chiefiy for bait in 
angling for all the varieties named in the foregoing ; sand-crabs are used 
in the summer when the shells are soft. The surf- whiting and the croaker 
bite equally well on either, but the yeUow-fin (Ukewise the sharks) are 
partial to sand-crabs. 

' Many pier fishermen fish almost exclusively for the smaller fish, 
such as mackerel, pompano, smelt and herring, which call for long cane 
rods and half a dozen very small hooks. Pompano bite best on shark 
or craw-fish bait, while mackerel are partial to the flesh of their own kind. 

' Rock-bass, halibut, and in season, sea-trout, are also taken from the 
piers. The sea-trout, which is nothing more or less than a young white 
sea-bass, running from one to sik and eight pounds, is best taken with live 
sardines for bait. Halibut run from two or three pounds up to thirty 
and thirty-five pounds. 

' Several varieties of sharks and stingarees are numerous in Southern 
Califomian waters, particularly during the warm months. While they 
are not classed as game fish are very apt to seize the angler's bait, and 
they put up a very interesting argument, and are great tackle smashers.' 

Affecting the rocks and the great kelp beds is the Atka fish 
(Fleurogrammus), common among the Aleutian Islands where 
it is called Atka mackerel. Dr. Jordan says that when hooked 
in water over twenty feet deep it comes np readily, but as soon 
as it sees the boat, dashes away and makes an extraordinary 
fight for liberty. His ship was out of provisions, so nine men 
began to fish for the Atka mackerel. In four hours they landed 
five hundred and eighty-five fish, or seventeen fish per line per 
hour, all of which were used by the crew. The fish averaged 
about two and one-half pounds each, and were beautifully 
coloured. The dorsal was large, calling to mind that of the 
whitefish ; the pectoral fins very large, the body yellow, with 
jet-black cross-bars. 

Allied to them is the blue-cod, which I have taken at Santa 
Catalina nearly four feet in length and weighing thirty or more 
pounds. It is a large, long, slender savage-looking fish, the 


inside of the mouth of my catch a vivid blue. I succeeded in 
keeping this fish, or another, alive, placed it in a tank, and 
secured an excellent photograph of it. The cods, tom-cods, 
codlings, hakes,[are common catches in the northern waters of the 
Pacific coast. 

There are several hundred fishes very little known that could 
be included in a rational and liberal definition of a game fish of 
sea, river or lake, which could be mentioned in this connection, 
all found in Atlantic or Pacific, United States or Canada, and the 
Gulf of Mexico, showing the wealth of material for the angler or 
the consumer of fish. 




' Oh ! not in camp or court 
Our best delights we find, 
But in the far resort 
With water, wood and wind. 
Where Nature works 
And beauty lurks 
In all her craft enshrined.' 


IT was Ebeu G. Scott who said, ' The forest, the ocean, the 
desert, these are where exhausted Antaeus renews his 
strength at the touch of mother earth ; the sky, the winds, the 
waters, the trees, the rocks, the stars, these are the counsellors 
that feelingly persuade Mm what he is.'' How true this is every 
true angler knows, and knows well, whether he is 

' Wading down some purling brook in June, 
Where the mountain laurel and the wild rose is just abloom,' 

or breasting the strong winds along a rocky shore, or following 
up some deep canon in the mountains where the soft wind whispers 
in the pines a requiem that fills the air with incense. It matters 
little where the angler is, he is sure to possess that love of the 
open, of the uncontaminated, that enables him to renew his 
strength at the touch of wind or waters. The angler sees things 
that no one else can. He has a second and a third sight ; inani- 
mate things in their deepest perversity are often a joy ; and he 
revels in the fact that all the good things of nature are his to 
enjoy and to own. I know not how it is with the gentle reader 


Fig. 33. Angling in Italy. 

1. Fishing Boats Coming Into Naples. 2. Hauling the Seine at Mentone. 3. Surf 
Fishing at Genoa. . p. 176. 


or the fierce critic ; but to be happy, man must have this capacity 
of wholesale enjoyment, of seeing something in all things. I 
am aware that this is at times called the artistic temperament, 
this seeing things that apparently do not exist, but never- 
theless, I beheve it is worthy of cultivation and is a strong 
factor in the evolution of man from savagery to civilization. 
This occurred to me in France one winter day, when I 
watched a group of anglers fishing in the Seine, where they 
had to keep moving or the Une would freeze to the rod. Again 
in Eome when I stood and watched a freezing angler cast into 
the muddy waters of the Tiber ; and again on the Eiviera at 
Menton, on the ItaUan Une, men and boys were fishing for echini, 
eating them au naturel, and happy. 

Often at Biarritz, France, the rocks are seen lined with sea- 
anglers armed with rods of extraordinary length, some being^ 
forty feet long, or twice the length of a salmon rod. Vicomte 
Henri de France states that although many of these sea 
anglers have reels they prefer not to use them. The Une, 
about as long as the rod, is sufficient for aU purposes, and when 
the rod is raised the fish and the four hooks come in muck 
quicker than if reeled. In fact, the rod is so cumbersome that 
two hands are necessary to handle it. 

It is difficult to find a land where there is no fishing. If such 
does exist, man soon comes to the rescue, as in the case of Argen- 
tina, whose inland waters a few years ago had no finny game ;, 
now, thanks to the official camaraderie of England, Germany, and 
America, it has whitefish, quinnat salmon, brook trout, lake 
trout, blue-back salmon, silver salmon, steelhead, rainbow trout, 
land-locked salmon, Atlantic salmon and European brown trout, 
four million two hundred and sixty thousand four hundred 
eggs having been placed in its waters between 1904 and 1909 with, 
most satisfactory results. 

In a previous chapter, I have referred to the fishes of the 
Mediterranean as having an extraordinary resemblance to the 
fauna of the Hawaiian Islands, an item of interest to the angler. 

12 177 


If I am ifot mistaken, Spain and the shores of France and Italy 
along the Maritime Alps are neglected by the expert sea-angler 
and without cause, as here is a wonderful field for the man or the 
woman with a rod ; a visit to the markets of Marseilles, Naples 
and Genoa proved it to me. If the fish are not biting in Italy, 
the angler can go and look at them, aUve and beautiful, in the 
B'aples Aquarium ; and learn about the wonderful work of 
Dr. Dohrn in the Zoological Station where are living fish pictures, 
more beautiful than can be described. Here the angler can 
Burvey the field and try conclusions, as I did, with a morose but 
determined electric ray. 

In going south from England with angling in view, Spain 
should not be disdained, as beyond the Pyrenees, in the romantic 
valleys of Ifavarre, there are trout streams more than alluring, 
whether it is the Bidasoa with headquarters at the Palacio 
Eeparacea, Oyeregui, Provincia de Navarra of the Marques 
Eugenic Uztariz, for he is not above giving good service to good 
anglers ; or the Minho or Eio Ason. There is not so much angling 
red-tape in Spain. You must take out a licence, but it costs 
only five peseta, with the stamp of the Governor of the province 
* thrown in.' Spain is a land of romance and fine rivers, and 
the Bidasoa, from the mountains to the sea, is an ideal trout 
Stream. It flows along, now peacefully, now breaking into 
rapids, through historic valleys, where there are trout not over 
one pound in weight, but excellent as hard flghtiag game. As 
for sea fishing, aU the ports in the Bay of Biscay provide it from 
sea-bream to mullet ; and the towns, as San Sebastian, Santander, 
Eenedo, Eiradeo, Oveles and San Vincente on the bay, are 
extremely picturesque. They also abound in clever fishermen, 
many of whom have never seen a rod or a fly. 

Among the trout streams from San Sebastian and Bilbao is 
the Deva, the country calling to mind Southern California and 
its snow-capped Sierra Madre and Sierra Nevada. Among the 
rivers are the Anson, Esla, Douro, Ebro, from the mouth of which 
you can see Majorca, which I saw one night in the haze, long to 


be remembered. Indeed, all the south coast reminded me of 
California. On the north coast is the Nalon, and there are 
countless rivers, as the Orbigo, Cares, Mimho and Navia, which 
rise in the Caribbean mountains, and abound in trout. 

Santander is an interesting province on the Anson, The 
angler may make Ms headquarters at the little town of Ampuero, 
which Mr. Walker M. Galhchan, an English author and angler, 
owns by right of angling discovery, as here one day in early 
spring, he astonished the natives by taking samlet and many 
trout with a fly, and hooked a two pounder. That it is an attrac- 
tive water is evident from the fact that he compares it to the 
Tare, which I have fished for grayling ; and which seemed, to 
me, at least, near Alburgh Hall, the home of my host, a most 
beautiful river. ' The average weight of the trout in the 
Anson,' says Mr. GalUchan, ' is one-half pound ; but the strength 
and gameness of the fish are astonishing, and I would rather 
catch these lively half pounders than fish double their weight in 
certain English and Welsh rivers.' 

The Anson would be a good salmon stream were it not for the 
netting in its pools, and the fact that the Alcalde of Gibaja, who 
owned the salmon rights, sold them at auction at one time, hence 
the fish are ruthlessly slaughtered. Medium-sized blue dun, 
partridge and green flies are very taking on the beautiful river, 
with its quaint and primitive Basques, as yet unspoilt. This 
river is famed for its sea-trout, possibly steelhead or sea run of 
the brown trout. The best season is in March, while the salmon 
are most plentiful in the sunomer and the brook trout in February. 
Other good Spanish trout streams are the Besaya in the 
province of Santander, with the town of Torrelavega as a base 
and the Pas, where at Eenedo, one can find good service. The 
angler who has fished in Colorado will find a counterpart here 
in climatic curiosities, as the rivers are liable to sudden and 
extraordinary rises, due to a rain up on the divide or in the 
mountains. In all the north of Spain in early spring, the angler 
may expect changes, and sudden showers, and should go pre- 



pared. Many little rivers can be found in I^orth and Central 
Spain and in Portugal, well worth the adventure with rod and 
reel, the Douro and upper reaches, the Minho, Mondego, Tagus, 
Zatas, Guadiana and the many streams rising in the Sieira 
Morena, Sierra Toledos, Sierra Guadari and Sierra Estrella being 
more or less alluring to the angler. 

The reader proposing to angle in Spain will do well to read 
Wild Spain, Bush and Chapman, The Angler's Diary, published 
by the Field, and Travel in Spain, by the enthusiastic angler and 
delightful writer already referred to, Mr. Walter M. Gallichan. 
Angling in Spain has its compensations, as some one has said, 
ia its scenery, the wild and beautiful mountains and interesting 
people, and the sea-angler especially will find by following along 
shore through Portugal around to the ports of the Mediterranean, 
many locaUties where sport may be had of an exciting character. 
At certain places the tuna is taken, and the Mediterranean is the 
headquarters of the greatest tunny fishing in the World, especially 
at Palermo, where thousands of fishes are taken with huge 
nets, the hauling of which, filled with the big fish, is a spectacle 
to remember. Here too, is the great Atlantic swordfish, Xiphias, 
which comes here to spawn, and is followed by the ItaUans, a 
lookout being stationed on a tail mast to sight the fish, the men 
rowing and invoking the saints for good luck. So far one of 
these great swordfishes of four hundred pounds has not been 
taken with a rod ; but Dr. Gifford Pinchot, the founder of 
American forestry, has played one for some time in American 
waters, and will, I am confident, ultimately land one. Several 
have been hooked at Santa CataUna, but they were of such size 
that the launches could not get under way before the reel was 
stripped. There is a real element of danger here, as this sword- 
fish is as ugly as a rhinoceros, and charges with as Uttle reason ; 
hence, when this sport is established, non-sinkable launches 
shoidd be used. The long series of casualties from this source 
recorded by Professor G. Brown Goode will justify the caution. 
The sea-angler particularly will find on the north coast of 


Spain practically a vlrgiii field, easily reached from Southampton. 
The coast is cut up with many bays, indentations and fjords, all 
of which afford sport of some kind, according to Mr. Walter M. 
GaUichan, who has made a special study of this new fishing 
ground. According to this author, tuna of large size are taken 
off the mouths of the Portuguese rivers, or, to use his exact 
words, ' of fabulous weight.' Sea- trout up to seven and eight 
pounds are to be had in Galacia, in tide waters, a noble game. 
Here, too, are fine bass and big pollack, grey muUet, which appeal 
to many anglers on light tackle. 

Mr. Gallichan states that the best centres for the sea and 
river angler are Eibadeo, a little village at the mouth of the Eiver 
Eo, Vivero, Ferrol and Puente de Eume. For the lover of sea- 
trout angling, he recommends Coruna, Corcubion, Pontevedra 
and Vigo. The latter is particularly preferred, as it is the port 
of several lines of English steamers. Here one can find twenty 
or thirty kinds of fine fishes, many of extraordinary appearance, 
as the Merluza. The congers here are large, and the bass can 
be taken on salmon rods with a fly, especially off the Isle of 
Cies. A spoon is also used for bass and sea-trout. 

Into Vigo Bay the Berdugo river flows, and its mouth is a 
famous place for sea-trout. For sea angUng, the angler is advised 
to bring heavy tackle. Mr. GaUichan says regarding the important 
factor of reaching this place, ' The cost of a holiday in Spain 
would not amount to more than a holiday in Scotland or Ireland, 
if the angler's wants are moderate. The sea voyage in summer 
is delightful, and the Eoyal Mafl ships touch at Cherbourg and 
Coruna on the way to Vigo. Fishermen who dislike a sea passage 
can travel overland in about forty-eight hours, via Paris, Irun, 
and Venta de Bancs to Coruna or Vigo.' I may add that the 
prospective angler in Portugal or Spain wiU find this author's 
book, Travel in Spain, invaluable, not as a guide only, but for 
its literary charm. 

France has suffered from poaching and indiscriminate fishing 
for years ; and if the EepubUc wiU heed the requests of its 



distinguislied anglers, as Prince d'Arenberg, President of the 
Casting Club of France, the fine sporting rivers of France will 
soon come into their own, as years ago they abounded in trout 
and salmon. Such was the Chateaudin (Finisterre) that, once 
filled with fish, is now practically empty ; and Prance imports 
from six hundred to seven hundred thousand kilogramms of 
salmon, worth twenty miUion francs, in seven years. Despite this 
extraordinary neglect on the part of the French, they are most 
enthusiastic anglers ; and on summer days, hoUdays or Sundays, 
fifty thousand anglers swarm the banks of their beautiful rivers. 
No country has more beautiful summer streams, and those of 
Brittany have passed into song. 

Of special charm are the rivers Scorff and EMe and the 
Quimperl6, which reach the ocean near Poulda.i The latter 
was once famous for its salmon, which were netted beyond the 
limit of patience ; yet M, Paul Gaillard tried an experiment with 
the adjacent streams, and in ten years brought up these rivers to 
the standard of any in Scotland, affording him one hundred and 
thirteen salmon one season, and thirteen in a single day. The 
streams became famous for their trout, the result of the stopping 
of poaching, re-stocking and intelligent care. If this was tried 
in aU the French rivers, a great national asset would be revitalized 
and added to France. 

The lover of trout fishing will find the rivers of Brittany 
delightful in every sense ; and if the trout are scarce, the angler 
may solace himself with the thousand and one charms of this 
fascinating country. With sea angling it is different, it is of the 
best, and the sea-angler should make his headquarters at Quim- 
perl6 Pont, Scorff and Pont Oven. Trout, grayhng, salmon, 
pike, perch, club and sturgeon, tunny, and many more are the 
attractions on river and sea coast. 

The salmon flies of France are darker than those used in 
England, but the EngUsh flies are used. The trouble with France, 
doubtless, is that, as also in America, the ignorant politician 
attempts to make votes with the ' people ' by winking at poach- 


ing ; classing all those who would conserve the fisheries as ' aristo- 
crats, millionaires, etc.' To defeat this, France will have to- 
educate the people as to the value of sport to a nation ; but 
more important, the educated men, the aristocracy of France^ 
should enter politics and curb the ignorant. Then every river 
in France would be a part of the national income, and a valuable 
asset to the State and people. 

Many of the French rivers are delightful, and those between 
Brest and St. Malo are mostly free. In Brittany the angler will 
find fair trout fishing near Guinzamp, Lannion, Huelgoat, St. 
Nicolas du Pelem, Pontrient. Sea angling is good at St. Malo, 
pollock, conger, bass, particularly at the mouth of the Eance,, 
plaice, bream, and nearly aU the fishes common in English waters. 

If one would see the real sea anglers of France, he should go to 
Boulogne, whose fisherfolk eulogized the town in the famous 
lines : 

' Bright jewel of the Channel wide, 

Bird of the soft and snowy breast. 
Better belov'd than all beside. 

Poised lightly by the wave's white crest. 
Boulogne ! 'Tis thou whose beauty rare 

With every other nation vies, 
Whose maidens innocent and fair 
Reflect the heavens in their eyes ! 
Since all thy soldiers 
Are brave and gay. 
And thy daughters' glances 

Drive peace away. 
So lovely city, thy spell divine 

Thou castest on me, my heart is thine ! 
There are beauteous cities 

Wherever I stray, 
Famous and fruitful, 

Sunny and gay ; 
But frowning I turn me 

Away from them all. 
Boulogne ever wooes me 
With siren caU ! ' 



From here starts the finest equipped, fleet of market-fishermen 
in Europe, including over five hundred vessels and six thousand 
men and boys. The fishes are soles, bass, cod, smelt, whiting, 
pollack, mullet, cod, eels and many more. It is a most interest- 
ing experience to take a trip with some of these fishermen or 
trawlers, and learn of the chances and risks taken by the toilers 
of the sea to supply the market with fish. 



' 'Twas where o'er the sea 
Delicious gardens hung, green galleries, 
And marble terraces in many a flight. 
And fairy arches flung from cliff to cliff. 
Bewildering, enchanting, . . .' 

IT is not well to become wildly excited regarding the angling 
possibilities of tlie Eiviera. I remember when going from 
Paris to Marseilles having with me what tackle the porters in 
Paris had not devastated or broken. I intended to fish aU along 
the shore — ^Marseilles, Cannes, Monte Carlo, Menton, and so on to 
Italy ; but I fished MarseiQes from a cabriolet most comfortably. 
I had an abundance of time, so devoted myself to a psychological 
study of the driver, whose ingenuity in lengthening out the 
drive, isolating me on places where the drawbridge went up, and 
taking me to the points I did not wish to see, were more than 

The fish market was interesting, but most of the game was 
brought in from the outer waters, and I found that almost every 
mile of sea coast was zealously dragged day and night with 
seines ; between times men and boys hunted for aU kinds of sea 
game and poached on the rivers. Lax game laws, or none, over- 
netting, have destroyed the opportunities of the man with the 
rod, though at certain localities where deep water comes in- 
shore, as at Biarritz, there is some sport. The fishing-boats 
with their lateen-sails are extremely picturesque. I watched 
them from the old church JTotre Dame de la Garde at Mar- 
seilles, where there is one of the most interesting collections of 



offerings of various objects by resident fishermen and seamen in 
Europe — compensations to the angler. 

The most remarkable fishery in the world, however, is found 
in the Mediterranean. I refer to the tunny fisheries at Sicily, 
where vast nets are used to entrap the great fishes, the catch 
being an event well worth witnessing. It has its headquarters 
at Sicily where the tunny attains a weight of one thousand 
pounds. Every year the largest fish is presented at the shrine 
of St. Sebastian, the patron saint of Siefiian fishermen ; and 
generaUy'lsrings them good luck. The first tunas of the season enter 
the Straits of Gibraltar in April. They are known as the ' Tunny 
of Arrival,' and are very soon sighted by the fishermen of the 
Balearic Islands and in a month reach Sicily. The big school 
which comes up from the South African coast divides into three 
general parts ; one goes south by Tunis and Algiers, reaching 
the Adriatic and even the Bosphorus ; the second and largest 
foUows along the north coast of Sicily, passing through the 
Straits of Messina, and is taken as far east as Syracuse ; while 
the third school reaches Corsica and Sardinia. It is from this 
school that the supply of tuna for Genoa and IS'aples comes. 

The coming and going of the tunny is as uncertain as at 
Santa CataUna ; hence the saints are invoked, and their statues 
carried through the streets, the men appealing to them in song 
as they follow. Sometimes the big schools are preceded by 
young fish weighing from twenty to fifty pounds. The tunny 
comes to the quiet waters of this sea to spawn, as it does to the 
lee of Santa Catahna. By July they disappear. They some- 
times remain in these waters, as at Santa CataUna, California, 
all the year round, and from now are taken xmtil October off the 
coast of Spain and Portugal, where they are called the ' Tunny of 
Eeturn.' ISo one knows where they winter. 

The tunny in an economic sense is the salmon of the sea. 

When they are reported from the Balearic Isles, which I recall 

with deep pleasure, the invocation to the saints begins, and the 

nets, moles in length and valued at ten thousand or more dollars, 



are taken out and set, like an elephant fence, to guide the tuna into 
the camera di morte. The tunny is like a London cab-driver ; 
he invariably turns to the left, and many Sicilians "wiU be found 
who for this reason think the great fish is bUnd in the right eye. 
The nets are arranged on this principle. When as many tunas 
have entered as can be managed, the ' gate ' is closed and the 
net is hauled, forcing the fish to the surface where they are 
kiUed, and the net set again. The fish are sent to the canneries 
and some to the markets. An enormous sum is invested in this 
fishery ; and you may buy timny or tuna in almost any city 
in the world, though now some of it comes from the waters of 
Santa Catalina ; but in this case it is the long-fin tuna or albacore. 
One firm, the Florios, have nuILions of francs invested in the nets, 
and in good years clear two million francs. 

Several members of the Tuna Club, among them Mr. H. St. A. 
EarlscUfE of Santa Barbara, have visited these grounds and 
endeavoured to take these tuna with rod and reel. Mr. Aflalo 
has tried them, making a special trip to Madeira, as it were, 
intercepting them there ; but so far, if I am not mistaken, but 
few have been landed with a rod, nor do I understand that they 
will bite, at least this was the experience of Mr. EarlscUif, to 
whom I am indebted for this information, who advises Palermo as 
an angling headquarters in May. The trip from IS'aples to Palermo 
by boat or train is made in one night : and I can conceive of no 
more beautiful trip than the one I made from Genoa to iNaples by 
sea, passing Sardinia, Corsica and the beautiful islands near 
S'aples, Ischia and others. 

Many interesting experiments are beiag made with American 
fishes in Italy by Giuseppe Besana of Lombardy. Eainbow 
trout, Chinook salmon, brook trout, black bass, sunfish and 
others have been placed in the small ponds of the Piscicoltura 
Borghi at Varano. Of these, the sunfish has done better than 
desired, doubtless, and the rainbow is doing well ; also the 
black bass, which promises a treat to ItaUan anglers in a few 
years when the splendid fishes are well estabhshed. 



One of the most charming vistas I recall in Italy was from 
my hotel in Genoa, where I saw the jagged peaks of Corsica or 
Sardinia rising in the crimson haze of an ItaUan sunrise, which 
reminded me that there were trout to be taken in the old 
home of Napoleon. 

The Golo is the largest trout stream, rising back of Corte in 
the high and rugged country, and reaching the sea about twelve 
miles from Bastia. It is made up by the Basco and Tartagine. 
I left Italy just before the best season, February 9, before the 
winter snows had melted. Like all the trout streams in Spain, 
France or Italy, it has been poached and netted beyond reason, 
yet there are trout ranging from a fourth of a pound to two 

The point of departure of the angler should be Ponte Leccia, 
where the Hotel Cyxnos serves man and beast, and is often flUed 
with EngUsh and American anglers. The best angling is the 
stretch between the bridge at Ponte Leccia and the Station. 
There is also good fishing in the Tartagine, a tributary of the 
Golo, and in the Asco and Gravona, the latter reaching the sea 
a mile or two south of Ajaccio,'an interesting place. StiU another 
little trout river is the Liamone, which rises near Monte Eetto 
and its tributaries, Crussini and Fiume Grosso. By the end of 
March the trout fishing is at its best here. Into the Gulf of 
Valencia near Propnano runs the Eizzanese, abounding in small 



' I have two or three hobbies : I have given a long hf e to the collection 
and study of early illustration in books. I have devoted a good deal of time 
to the study of ancient art. I have filled my house -with a collection of 
pottery and porcelain. I hve, when in town, among these associations, but 
all my life, my heart, is shut up in my rod case, until I get away from town, 
and then it escapes and enjoys its beating.' 

M. G. Prime. 

From letter to Mr. Robert B. Marston. 

THE angler in Europe has a most fascinating field. Perhaps 
he is in the Black Forest, with some of the famous anglers of 
the Ely Fishers Club of London, or of the Casting Club of France, 
which Prince d'Arenberg has made known over the world ; 
or it may be he is on the placid, radiantly beautiful waters of the 
Italian lakes, or among the countless lakes, rivers and streams of 
Alpine Austria. Everywhere the angler is more than compen- 
sated by the splendid scenery, if angling luck is against him. For 
anglers the Tyrol ofEers many attractions ; and there is a region 
of lakes and rivers near the city of Salzburg, called the Salzkam- 
mergut, lying partly in Upper Austria and partly in Styria, which 
for its game fishes and fine scenery appeals particularly to 
British and American anglers. It is a wild and splendid Alpine 
country, uncontaminated by the public, yet provided with inns 
and hotels, so the angler may enjoy the sport in comfort, or 
rough it as he sees fit. 

The best season here is from the middle of June to September, 
earMer or later, depending upon the season. The waters are 
mostly controlled by the government ; and Austria is to be con- 



gratulated that the Emperor and his officials long ago recognized 
that angling is a national asset of prime importance. They 
have conserved the fisheries, stocked the streams and lakes with 
the best fishes, and are reaping the reward of an influx of wealthy 
anglers, which means the taking of large sums to the region, 
which find their way to the working classes, and where it is most 
needed — a consummation devoutly to be wished for in all lands 
where there is fine scenery and sport, all of which is ennobling 
and expanding to the dweller and to the visitor. 

In this wonderful maze of mountains, calling to mind the 
scenery in British Columbia, we find several large lakes, as 
Toplitz, Traun, Hallstatter and Grundl ; including with the 
associated streams about two hundred miles of carefully pro- 
tected and preserved streams under the control of the State. 
Here you may see that remarkable thing — a professional fisher- 
man using a fly. He has no streams for net fishing, the waters 
being kept for the angler, who knows that millions of young trout 
and grayling have been introduced for his benefit. The lakes 
also abound in pike and big lake trout. 

In entering this region, it is necessary for the angler to obtain 
a licence, which goes to the Forestry Service, and the details of 
which are entered in the Fishing Book. The fee for fishing aU 
over the country in any season is about five dollars American, or 
£1 English, equivalent to 24 K. ; or for two fishing grounds 75 K. ; 
three, 90 K. ; four, 105 K. ; five, 120 K., and so on. Aside from 
this, there is the regular licence fee or certificate amounting to 
11 K. 20 h., which is much less than the hunting and fishing 
State privilege in America. 

"So angler objects, knowing that the amount is used to pre- 
pare the rivers for him and keep them well stocked. The sports- 
man may, if he desires, take out what is known as a ' general 
sport ' licence, covering eight grounds. This will cost 168 K., or 
£7, or $35.00. This is obtained from the direction of the I. and 
E. Department of Woods and Forests in Gmunden. The licence 

is for the streams only, and should be carried to show inspectors on 
I go 


demand. All tMs sounds formidable, but spells good fly fishing for 
all time. If France and other countries would protect the fisheries 
and permit such clubs as the Casting Club of France to outHne 
a conservation poUcy, they would find the result most beneficial, 
a new national asset would come into being. The poacher and 
the professional net fisherman are the enemies to be considered, 
and when it is remembered that these people are biased by 
ignorance and avarice, it is evident that for their own benefit 
they should be controlled and forced to abide by the laws that 
intelligence and forethought dictate. 

The conditions of angling here will naturally surprise the 
visiting angler, yet he has the sport ; all the fish the angler takes 
belonging to the State, the sport alone goes to the man with the 
rod. The State demands that the angler shall take a guide or 
giUie, whose compensation is set at 1 K. 60 h. to 2 K. per half day, 
and 3 K. to 4 K. for a full day. The guide is a skilful fiy fisher, 
and it is his duty to see that his patron secures a good catch and 
every convenience. 

It is his official duty to net the fish, and to place them in a tub 
or vessel of water which he carries ; in a word, secure them for the 
administration. The reason for this claim by the government, 
is that the fish are extremely valuable here, and they are a 
possession of the State. This does not mean that the angler 
cannot take away any of his fish, as he can have them all 
by paying the gillie for the State the market value of his 
catch, less twenty per cent. This can aU be arranged in ad- 
vance by the angler taking a day ticket and paying a special 
fee of 10 K. or 14 K., supposed to cover the purchase price of 
an average catch at that time. In this case, the angler need 
not take the official fish receiver, and can place his catch 
in a creel and carry it off. 

I would advise taking the giUie, as it is certainly a novel 
experience to have a good guide who is thoroughly posted, and 
who wheels along the bank of the stream a portable aquarium 
containing the catch, aUve and fresh at the end of the day. There 



is a piquancy about this that must appeal to one. The laws 
are extremely fair and just. Thus, if an angler pays his fees, and 
there is a terrific rain or flood and his fishing is ruined, the money is 
refunded. In fact, angling in Austria is very delightful and 
interesting from its very antipodes of similar sport elsewhere. 
Listen to this, which I take from the official book : — ' The Forest 
Administration wiU do everything in its power to advance and 
to protect the interests of amateur fishermen, and will on request 
give information and advice as to the best accommodation avail- 
able.' What more would a reasonable angler desire ? Would 
that every real trout stream in America could be closed to every- 
thing but fly fishing. 

The angler in the Tyrol should apply for his licence several 
days ahead by letter or telegram, and when he arrives, he will 
find it ready ; so there wiU be no waste of time. Prepared with 
licence and equipment, one is ready to enjoy the really wonder- 
ful country where the lakes are gems in their settings of green. 

Traun Lake is particularly beautiful ; a cleft in the moun- 
tauis, which wind about it, and rise from it precipitately. 
The little town of Hallstatt is a delight in itself, well payiag the 
angler if he did not see a fish. Gosan Lake recalls Lake Louise 
in the Canadian Eockies, especially as it is seen in Henry Joseph 
Breuer's famous masterpiece, loolring up the lake with glaciers, 
or vast fields of snow on the distant mountains. 

The fishing in the Traun extends from the mouth eight 
mfles up-stream, and abounds in fine trout of over a pound 
weight, and ranging up to seven. The best fish is a cross be- 
tween Salmo fario and 8. lacustris. Two-pound grayling have 
also been taken from this water, and nowhere can more delight- 
ful fly fishing be found than this, where the art loved by 
Walton has been known for many years. The flies recommended 
are March Brown, Eed Spinner, Fern fly. Orange sedge. Wasp 
fly, Governor, Alder fly, May fly, and August Dun. The big 
trout, like all trout, have a penchant for live minnows. In 
this part of the country one meets, or should meet, Mr. Anton 

Fig. 34. 

1. Huchen, 46 lbs., taken in the Inn River, Bavaria, by Ludwig Deiglmayer. 2. Baron 
Walter Von Rummel, Pike Fishing, in Austria. 3. Baron Von Rummel, Trout Fishing 
in the Traun, Austria. p. 192. 


Hoplinger, who is the lessee of the fishing from the Government, 
and who provides giUies, guides, boatmen and everything, even 
to flies made on the Traun for the delectation of these fine trout. 

At the end of Traun Lake is the famous Ebensee angling 
ground of about eight miles, with delightful little villages here 
and there. The Eed Spinner, March Brown and May fly are 
said to be very killing here. There is also a fine stretch at Aurach 
near Gmunden. The river is about twenty-five feet wide, and 
abounds in such grand scenery that the angler may be pardoned 
if he forgets aU about such non-essentials as trout and grayling. 
Traun is a splendid Alpine Lake covering six thousand one hun- 
dred and fifty-eight acres, and Hallstatt is a noble piece of water, 
sure to beguile the angler, and fascinating not only for its fishing, 
but from the fact that it abounds in ancient Celtic and Eoman 
remaius. A radiant little river, the Hallstatt-Traun, flows into 
Hallstatt Lake near Obertraun. It abounds in half-pound trout, 
and two and three pounders are sometimes taken. A two and a 
half-ounce spUt cane or bamboo rod is used. While fishing here 
one is surrounded by eternal snows, and the water is pure, clear 
and icy — all conditions favourable to making hard-fighting, good- 
conditioned fish. 

Toplitz Lake is among the natural gems of the region. Here 
one is not obliged to take a gillie, taut aU trout and pike taken 
belong to the Administration. Fine fishing grounds are found 
near Aussee, Mitterndorf, and the sport in the Kainisch-Traun 
is sure to be the best in Europe for big trout, S. fario. ISo net is 
allowed to profane these radiant waters. The fly alone lures the 
trout, twenty to forty in an afternoon, two pounders not being 
unusual, so I am told on excellent authority. The Salza, near 
Mitterndorf, affords fine sport, there being at least fifteen nules 
of good water, seven of it being nearly thirty feet wide. 

I can but mention the main aspects of this beautiful angling 
region, which one should approach with angling reason, taking 
things as they are, not finding fault because the rules and regula- 
tions are not like those of England or America. 

13 193 


Other lakes which are beautiful and well stocked are St. 
Wolfgang, Mond Lake and the Atter, also the Teichl Eiver, Upper 
Austria, Gleinker Lake and many more. Salzburg, with its 
central hill and charming surroundings, is one of the most attrac- 
tive cities in Europe from almost any standpoint. It is the capital 
of the province, and may be made a charming headquarters 
from which to go a-fishing to almost aU points of the compass. 
It is the heart of Austria and Austria's angling. In St. Wolfgang 
there is a variety of game, lake trout, chub, trout, pike, charr, 
perch, barbel, bleak, coregonus. The fishing here is controlled 
by Mr. Johann HopUnger, from whom privileges can be obtained. 

This mention of the names of private parties controlling the 
fisheries may appear strange, particularly to American anglers, 
who claim as tax payers the right to fish anywhere in state or 
government lands. 

In California a movement is on foot to enable the public to 
fish in every stream, pubHc or private, that has been stocked 
at the expense of the State, which means the whole people. I 
agreed with this myself, with the proviso that the only lure per- 
mitted should be flies. The average fisherman is after pounds 
and numbers, and cares little for the esthetics of the sport, or 
the fact that he should leave something for a friend on the 
morrow ; hence fly fishing has few charms for him. The rights 
to certain waters are purchased or rented from the Government, 
principally by hotel-keepers, who in turn care for them in the 
interests of their patrons, all of which in the end is to the advan- 
tage of the angler. 

ZeUer Lake should be visited by the angler for its mountains, 
which are capped with snow and ten thousand feet high, so that 
in casting your Eoyal Coachman, it is lost in the refiection of a 
snow-bank of the Kitzsteinbom. The Tyrol has in round num- 
bers thirty-seven hundred miles of trout and grayling streams, 
and its lakes and ponds cover an area equivalent to twelve 
thousand five hundred acres, about which are some of the most 
beautiful and picturesque resorts in Europe. In contemplating 


fishing this region the angler would do weU to write to the Landes- 
verband fiir Fremdenverkehr in Innsbruck for a little book which 
is issued gratis — The Tyrol Fishing Book. This contains aU 
the minute details which lack of space prevents in a volume of this 
kind. Ausserfern is the name of a district which extends to the 
frontier of Bavaria, and abounds in fine angling lakes and rivers. 
About half a mile above the sea, we find Lake Achensee, the 
largest lake in the Tyrol ; and to fish here, the angler must 
apply to the monastery of Piecht, near Schwaz, that owns the 
lake fisheries. There would seem to be a double chance here : 
the angler could get his licence and confess his sins of exaggera- 
tion to the good monks. Good waters near here are Schwarzsee, 
and in St. Johann, Kossen, St. ULrich. The Thiersee near the 
beautiful town of Kufstein has excellent trout fishing ; and in the 
lower Inn Eiver you may take that greatest of trout, the Huchen, 
that is known as salmon and by many names. A fine photograph 
of one, which weighed forty-six pounds, is here shown, taken by L. 
Deighnayer, for which I am indebted to Baron Walter von Eum- 
mel, with whom I had the pleasure of fishing at Santa CataUna. 
The hueho, huchen or rothfisch is a great trout-hke fish that 
has been seen weighing nearly one hundred pounds. It is com- 
mon in many streams, particularly the Danube. It differs from 
the true Salmo in the vomer being without teeth, and in general 
appearance it differs materially from the brook trout Scdvelinus. 
It attains a length of three or four feet, is slender, and looks, in 
the smaller specimens not unlike a waU-eyed pike, again like a 
grayling without the big dorsal. It has a depressed, pike-hke 
snout, and teeth that are devastators to delicate gut. In colour 
it is often a briOiant silver, with small black spots dotted par- 
ticularly over its upper surface. It is a good food fish, and in its 
best condition a hard and splendid fighter, and well called the 
' German salmon,' as it certawily in a way takes the place of this 
great fish. America and England could introduce this noble fish 
to advantage and its aUy in Japan. 

The huchen has been more than once compared to salmon, 



especially the one taken in the Danube and its Alpine tributaries. 
The season for the Eed-fish, as it is also -called, is in autumn and 
winter far into December ; when the waters are low and clear, the 
summer months are equally good, and of course, most delightful. 
The spoon is the bait par excellence, and of a size for a possible 
fifty pounder. When it strikes, the huchen goes into the air 
with a splendid leap of often three feet, and at once begins 
a battle royal with the angler who, if he has to play the fish against 
the stream, wiU soon realize that he has met his match. There 
is a Fishers Union in Vienna (K. K. Osterreichische Fischereige- 
sellschaft) 1., Schauflergasse, which issues Ucences and permits 
for huchen angling in its private preserves in Langenlebam 
and Muckendorf , but fifteen minutes by rail from Vienna, from 
which aU information regarding the huchen and its haunts and 
the angling chances may be obtained. 

In this vicinity is the Paznaun Valley with the wild river 
Trisanna, the Pitz Valley and the glacier-fed Pitztaler Ache, and 
the Oetztal running through the Valley of Oetztal, abounding 
not only in chub and perch, but in hard-fighting Eainbow trout 
from America. Magnificent scenery characterizes this region. 
The Grossglockner, the radiant glacial lake, Monte CristaUo in 
the Dolomites, the Ortler, and who does not know Meran, nestled 
in the heart of the Tyrolean mountains with its streams abound- 
ing in grayling, char, pike and trout weighing from six to seven 
pounds ? 

So one might spend the summer angling and loitering and 
doing nothing, which means looking at the scenery; angUng 
down the Adige from Bozen, coming to the ItaHan-speaking 
part of the Tyrol, and finding the lakes of TobUno, Malveno and 
Lago di Garda, the finest and largest of the Upper Italian Lakes. 
It is here that you cast a fly in Austria and reel your trout into 
sunny Italy, as Garda is on the Une. This beautiful lake, a type 
of all, contains char, trout, tench, perch, eels, carpiono, in all 
nearly thirty kinds of fish. Then there are lakes like dreams, 
Galdonazzo, famed for its pike, Levico, Lago di Serraza, and 


many more, for descriptions of which and the fish, I can only 
refer the reader to the little booklet already referred to and 
obtainable at Innsbruck. I have always been fascinated by 
Turner's ' Palace of the Caesars,' a dreamy, nebulous picture 
of a splendid palace, and when you see Gastein over the foamy 
fall and against the deep green hiUs, you will know what I mean. 

There is a charm in searching for new and unexpected angling , 
regions ; and in this part of the world, the man with a fly-rod 
will find an extended field. There is Dalmatia, Carniola, Mon- 
tenegro and Eagusa on the Austrian Eiviera. One of the fine 
rivers of Austria is blue Isonzo, which has distractions in the 
shape of grayling, and a forty-pound trout with a ' marbled 
skin,' the average being from six to twelve pounds. The record 
for 1910 was a fourteen pounder. May Fly and Eed Palmer are 
given by local anglers as the most killing flies for May and June, 
and Black Palmer for September. Near Karfreit on the Isonzo, 
there is a delightfal stretch of water, and a bridge, the ladra, 
well worth the time to cross and admire. 

In Styria there are many fine Alpine streams and lakes worthy 
the angler's attention, as Lake Putterer, and the river Enns, near 
the Benedictine Abbey, dating back to 1074. Then there are 
the lakes of St. Georgner, Mareiner, the Eiver Olsa, where the 
owner of the fisheries is the Parish Church. 

The patrons of the Austrian Tyrol or the Italian Lakes cannot 
control the climate, and rains may come and discourage the 
angler as they do in aU places ; but if the angling is not up to 
its best level, there is always the scenery of this wonderful land 
of Europe. 

The streams of Germany are stocked with various kinds of 
trout and smaU fry, often affording excellent sport. 

The Oos where it fiows through Baden abounds in trout, and 
ihe late Leonard Finletter amused himseK by feeding them from 
Ms seat in a hotel restaurant ; stone trout and brown trout being 
the varieties which took his bits of meat and bread. AU of which 
suggested a trip to the Wutach Eiver at Tiengen, about four 



hours by train from Baden where he had excellent sport, using 
a Montreal or silver Alexandria fly, and a Coachman later ia the 
day. Mr. Finletter took large grayling and trout here, which 
he told us about later at the Tuna Club, and also about the 
delightful angling Inn, at which he found congenial spirits, the 
Golden Ochesen at Tiengen. 

In writing of trout fishing in Germany, I am reminded of the 
celebrated case of the anglers of the Frankfort-on-the-Oder. 
From time immemorial they claimed the right to fish in the 
stretch iu the Oder from Furstenberg to Garz. In 1510 when 
Joachim I. was Elector of Brandenburg, he was induced by the 
Bishop of Lebus, through fear of the Church, to give the Bishop's 
people a sole fishing right iu the Oder from the Garz-Castrin 
boundary to the Frankfort-Lebus boundary. The Frankforters 
protested and in 1511 went to law with the Lebusers, and in one 
hundred and eighty-sis years, or on June 24, 1697, obtained a 
decision, their children and their children's children inheriting 
the claiin after the fashion of a Kentucky feud. The decision 
was fought down the centuries, imtil 1911 when the Supreme 
Court of Germany decided in favour of the anglers of the Lebus. 
This is the proverbial angler's patience. 

If the angler finds himself in the Belgium and Luxemburg 
Ardennes, there are trout to be had. Salmon are taken at 
Eemonchamps, and at AywaUle and Angleur, not far from Li^ge. 
In the Pyrenees, Mr. Charles A. Payton, a distinguished British 
angler and member of the British Sea Anglers Society, stated that 
the Pan district, the streams of Yeaux, Chaudes, and Gabas, the 
lac d'Aule, above Gabas, and Louvie abound in trout. Grood 
fishing is to be had not far from Cologne at Kyllburg in the 
Eifel, trout, grayling and chub being the game to expect. 

Some very large trout are taken in Chiem Lake, near Eosen- 
heim, Bavaria. One particularly I recall, taken by J. A. Koosen,, 
was three feet six inches long, and weighed over thirty pounds. 
This was the biggest trout that did not get away, so the veracity 
of anglers is sometimes preserved inviolate. 


In Austria the Eainbow has been successfully caught for a 
quarter of a century, and many streams are stocked with them, 
also -with brook trout. The black bass is also doing well in 
Austria, according to Mr. Von Pirko, President of the Imperial 
and Eoyal Austrian Fishing Society. 

The Ehine run of salmon is important, and as the river flows 
through several countries — Switzerland, Germany, Grand Duchy 
of Baden and Holland, they aU obtain some benefit from it, but 
mostly professional fishermen ; in a word, there is nothing to 
compare with the EngHsh salmon rod fishers in any of these 

There is good trout fishing in the waters of Belgium, though 
many are not free, or are private fisheries. If the river is free, a 
licence can be taken out at the nearest post-offlce. Some salmon 
are found in the Meuse, and trout in the Ambl^ve and in the 
EiverOarthe. The trout are confined to the rivers which drain 
the provinces of Li^ge, Namur and Luxemburg. The cool rivers 
of the Ardennes have been stocked with the Eainbow trout, which 
is also found in the ponds of La Hulpe, Court St. Etienne, 
Groenendael. The barbel occurs in the Meuse, and specimens 
have been taken weighing seventeen pounds. Bream and pike also 
occur, and in Holland the canal of Vemengen is known for its 
large pike. There are a number of other fishes, as the grayling, 
in the tributaries of the Meuse, the sauger or pike-perch. As for 
sea fishing, in Belgium little attention is paid to it, though anglers 
are seen on the piers at Blankenberghe, Ostend and Nieuporto. 

The huchen, previously referred to, ascends the Danube in 
March and April to its headwaters to spawn in the Zeller or 
Tyrol, half a mile above the sea. There it is taken with a spoon 
or fly, but the largest numbers are speared by the natives in the 
shallow waters of the upper streams. One of the interesting 
lakes in Styria, Schwarzensee, has for four centuries been held 
by the monks of the monastery of Admont, who on feast days 
and during Lent use the preserve to seine the trout. The native 
Styrian boat used here is quaint and artistic. It resembles a 



long dug-out, low in the water with a rising bow ending in a point, 
the rail elevated in sections fore and aft, the keeper propelling it by 
a paddle. 

The lakes and rivers of Switzerland abound in about fifty 
species of fish. The salmon can be taken in the Rhine below 
the Schaffhausen Falls and in the Oar. The Eainbow trout has 
been introduced with success, and the brown trout is taken in 
Lake Geneva, iNeuch^tel, Zurich and Constance. Here we 
find the pike, also in Lake Morol, Lake of Joux and the Black 
Lake of Friborg. Char and grayhng are also taken, and the 
gigantic eel-fish known as Wels is found in some of the large 
lakes, as Bienne and Lake Constance, where fishes eight or ten 
feet long have been taken, weighing from one hundred and 
fifty to two hundred pounds. 

The Russians care little for angling as a sport, and practically 
the only clubs are composed of Enghshmen. The lakes abound 
with fish, and in the Caucasus the streams afford fine trout 
fishing. The Laba and Zelentchonk rivers are particularly fine 
trout streams. Lake Goktcha in the Southern Caucasus has a 
game fish, Salmo ferox ; while the Ural and Altai streams afford 
good grayling fishing, the fish being especially large, four or 
five pounders being taken. In Kamschatka the Pacific saknon 
abound, but they do not take the fiy. The sauger or zander, 
a pike-perch, is common in the south of Russia. Two species 
are known in the old world, and nearly everywhere it is valued 
in the market and as game. 




' A Birr ! a whirr ! a salmon's on, 
A goodly fish ! a thumper ! 
Bring up, bring up the ready gaH, 
And i£ we land him we shall quafi 
Another glorious biimper ! 

Hark ! 'tis the music of the reel. 

The strong, the quick, the steady ; 
The line darts from the active wheel. 
Have all things right and ready.' 


THE limited salmon fishing in England and Scotland has 
practically forced many lovers of this particular sport to 
look to other fields ; and when, in the last century, a wandering 
English angler discovered that the finest salmon rivers in tlie 
world, so to speak, were in ISTorway, there was a movement in that 
direction. In a remarkably short period, England had secured 
the cream of this field of sport and still holds it, to the general 
benefit of these fisheries. 

Sir Henry Pottinger says : ' Out of about three-score of first- 
and second-rate salmon rivers situated between latitude fifty-eight 
degrees and seventy degrees from Christiansand on th.e south coast 
to Pasvig on the Varanger fjord, two-thirds are permanently held 
by Englishmen, and the remainder are chiefly in the hands of com- 
panies or private owners who let to Englishmen by the season. 
Very few are retained by Norwegians for their own fishing.' It 
will be seen that the natives care little for the sport, preferring the 
money in rentals. They cannot fish the best of their own streams 



if they wished, and the outsider who visits Norway for the sabnon 
fishing, finds that the cream of it has been taken, and that all 
he can get is an inferior psendo-salmon river of very uncertain 
tenure as to fish, or he can rent from a private owner, or one of the 
Salmon Eiver Companies, which demand high rentals. 

In a word, the English have it, and they deserve it by right 
of original discovery, for all they have done through centuries 
to make sport what it is and to educate the people to love out-of- 
door pastimes. 

A few years ago the fishing in !N"orway was difficult to reach 
and there were few comforts ; but to-day good steamers cross 
the Iforth Sea, and every convenience is to be had in the way 
of houses and food. Some idea of the angling here can be had by 
selecting the river Alten, which has about thirty miles of good 
fishing water, well adapted to casting a fiy. The fish average 
about twenty pounds, and four rods can take in the season about 
ten thousand pounds of salmon. The river is controlled by one 

The river Famsen is divided into eight beats and affords its 
owners magnificent sport, occasional fishes making fifty pounds. 
The fishing here is done from a boat, which is worked in a zig-zag 
fashion across the stream, so that the fly or spoon reaches every 
part of it. In rivers of the second class, each rod is supposed 
to take from eight hundred to one thousand pounds of salmon, 
l^early aU the rivers here differ or have some peculiarity : thus 
the Aaro is famous for its large fish, sixty pounders having been 
taken. The river Leirdal is not a ' boat river ' and can be forded, 
or the angler may cast from the banks. 

It is a singular fact that most of the Swedish rivers are worth- 
less. For some reason the salmon entering them will not take a 
fly, and it is said to be due to the brackish condition of the water. 
A few rivers which flow into the Kattegat and the Baltic are good 
salmon streams, and are owned by Swedish anglers. 

While the limitations of the present volume restrict me to the 
most essential details, I may refer to a few Norwegian rivers. The 



Gula, ' Child of the bright and stainless snow,' is an interesting 
stream, though not of the best. It rises near a wide snow- 
field, drawing from a vast area, and runs its tempestuous course 
of fifty miles before it is lost in one of the most attractive fjords 
of Western Norway. It is of peculiar interest, as mid-way it 
forms two great lakes, ten and fifteen miles in length. 

In the lower reaches there are many falls and rapids ; one 
fall is fifty feet high and the salmon pass around it by a ladder. 
If this was in America, the fall would have been blown up long 
ago, and converted into a rapid, so that many salmon could go up 
and the value of the river enhanced. As it is, the Gula affords 
to two rods in June and July about one hundred and fifty salmon 
and two hundred grilse. The largest salmon on record weighed 
thirty-two pounds, and the average was thirteen and one-half 
pounds, sport that should satisfy any one. This fine second- 
class stream is, we are told by Mr. Charles Thomas Stanford in his 
A Biver in Norway, a fly river ; not only this, but you can cast 
and do not have to drag the fly across the stream, or troll for 
the fish. TroUing with a fly, it would appear, comes into the 
class of spoon or dead-bait fishing. 

My fishing means to cast and drop a fly then recall it imme- 
diately. I should call ' harUng ' ' troUing,' and I note that Mr. 
Stanford makes the point. But ' harhng ' or towing the fly 
across the river is absolutely necessary in many Norwegian 
rivers, if salmon are desired. In this way I took my salmon in 
the WiUiamson in Oregon in 1912. A fly would never be taken, 
so I fell from grace and used a spoon. 

The fishing in the Gula begins the first of June, where the 
temperature of the water is forty-eight degrees. The water 
below the faU is fished first, as the principal run up the ladder does 
not begin until July. A certain ' Leivik pool ' is the best. The 
lower stream is very attractive : a low beach for casting on one 
side, and a precipitous wooded-precipice on the other, and far 
away high mountains with lines and patches of snow lingering 
into summer. By following up this river, one is led along beauti- 



ful reaches, and through regions that are a delight whether the 
salmon or grilse are biting or not. 

As to flies — Jock Scott, Durham and Black Eanger, Black, 
Silver and Blue Doctor, Dusty Miller and a few more are sufficient. 
Other rivers of more or less charm are the Namsen, but to be 
fished by ' harhng ' ; the fine salmon-producing Laerdal that has 
given its owner one hundred and forty-seven salmon in thirty-three 
days, not to speak of grilse — seventeen himdred and seventy-seven 
pounds in aU ; the Orkla, the Eauma, Sundal, Alten, Eeisen 
and Tana. 

As to the anghng rank of IsTorwegian rivers, I am indebted to 
Inspector Herr Landmark for the following : He estimates the 
value of the salmon and sea-trout in an average year as 1,462,000 
kr. The Tana ranks first with an average of 59,945 kr., then the 
order is Laogen Eiver, Gula, Orkla, Namsen, Mandel, Msser, 
Topdal, Laerdal, Drammen, Voss, Vefsen, Stjordal, Figgen and 
Haa. The richness of this country in salmon streams can be 
realized when, eliminating the purely trout streams, there are 
one hundred and sixty salmon rivers. 

The EngUsh angler pays about 300,000. kr. per annum to 
I*rorway in leases, and 74,000 kr., for other expenses. In all, they 
probably spend for their angUng two million kronen a year ; a sum 
greater than the total value of aU the salmon and trout fisheries 
of the country. Yet the salmon MUed by the angler is an in- 
finitesimal fraction of the fish that enter the rivers. 

The trout fishing in Norway is excellent, also in the Jemptland 
lakes of Sweden. The lakes of Norway afford good sport, 
especially the Veigvand, Landjevand, Tinholen and Hardanger 
Vidden lakes. Nearly aU the Scandinavian rivers are trout 
streams, and they are generally free, or the fishing can be had for 
a small sum. The Jemptland lakes are noted for their large 
trout, and in some is found a large char, Coregonus arcticus. 
The Scandinavian coast-hne abounds in fine sea angling, if one 
cares for fish of the kind. In the lowland lakes are found pike, 
perch and a variety of small fry. 


Many anglers are now turning their attention to the streams 
of Iceland, and some large fishes have been taken from the streams 
in this home, but a few years ago, of the great auk. 

In the Isle of Mull rivers, as the Forsa, Aros, and lochs Ba, 
Erisa, Assapol and Mishmish, there is excellent salmon and sea- 
trout angling. Mr. J. H. CUve, who knows the ground well, 
advises a single fly, No. 9 Limerick hook. Silver Doctor, 
Alexandria, or Jungle cock. This for the rivers ; for loch fish- 
ing. Soldier, Palmer and Zulu. 

If one is hunting for trout fishing in out of the way places, he 
will not be elbowed at the Lof odon Islands, which afford excellent 
sport, especially Ostvaago, one of the outer islands. The fishing 
in the Grundfort Fjord is said to be excellent, both with a minnow 
and March Brown fly, the fish ranging up to six and nine pounds ; 
and there are salmon, grilse, sea-trout and ' bull trout ' of eight 
or nine pounds. The best fishing on the mainland is to be had at 
the end of July, and on the islands the last of June. On the 
mainland excellent places are Senjen, Hindo, Lango and Ando, 
Ofoten and Salten fjords. The best flies for Nordland are said to 
be the Orange and Partridge, whQe Jock Scott and ' Stevenson' 
are often used. 

A day's catch is given as follows : two salmon, twenty-five and 
eleven and one-half pounds ; eighteen buU trout, grilse and sea- 
trout weighing eighty-eight pounds, the largest trout a nine and 
one-half pounder; good for Nordland or anywhere else. The 
sea-trout anghng is especially good at Kirkwall, Orkney, where 
not long ago Mr. G. T. Arthxir showed a creel of forty-one fish 
weighing forty-seven pounds, the largest fish weighed about five 

It is not to be understood that because the Norwegian 
streams and rivers are controlled by the English that no fishing 
can be obtained by the public. There are hotels which have 
fishing for their guests, and there are many beats which can be 
had from responsible agents in London. The following wfll afford 
an idea of the expense of salmon fishing in Norway : Thus in the 



Mandal, near Christiansand, South Norway, one may rent the 
Nodding Beat of about four kilometres with a farm-house of 
ten bedrooms and good conveniences for 200 kr. per month. In 
1912, in June, July, August and September, this beat afforded 
one hundred and fifteen salmon, three hundred and sixteen 
grilse, two hundred trout, amounting to two thousand three 
hundred and eleven pounds. One may rent the Hague 
Beat from August 1 to September 14, for $1,000.00 or 
£200. The Oislebo Beat, six or seven kilometres in length, 
both banks, house with eight bedrooms, can be had for 160 kr. 
per month, or $1,000.00 for Jirne and July. The Fuglesvedt Beat 
of four kilometres on this river, with a six-bedroom house near the 
river, can be rented for £150 for June and July, or £80 for 
August and September. Other beats are the Lovdal from 
Kaaland to Kleveland Bridge, three to twelve kilometres, both 
banks ; accommodations at Lovdal, June and July, $1,000.00 ; 
August and September, $500.00. The Klevelands Beat is 
available August 1 to September 30, for $1,375.00. The Bjae- 
land Beat of four kilometres, char fishing, troUing for sahnon 
in Manflo Lake, may be had for £40, or $200.00 per season. The 
beautiful Poss Beat on the Mandal can be rented by the season 
for £60. All these beats have comfortable and commodious 
houses, and while practically every inch of aU good rivers is held 
for rent or lease, good angling is to be had, and the prices are 
not exorbitant. 

Tuna or tarpon fishing either in Europe, Canada or America, 
is, I should say, more expensive. The famous beats on the Nam- 
sen range from four to eight kilometres, and as fifty-pounders 
are not uncommon, the rent is somewhat higher but never ex- 
travagant. Prices range greatly. One beat that gave eighty- 
three salmon ia June and July, 1912, can be had in 1913 for 
£550, or a beat of three miles, large farm-house, can be had in 
June and Jidy for £275. Such a beat could be taken by a party 
of friends, divided up, and the expense reduced to the minimum. 
This beat produced in 1911, from May 21 to August 7, one 



hundred and one salmon, thirty-eight grilse, in all amounting to 
one thousand nine hundred and thirty-three pounds. 

Fine beats may be had on the Orkla, a boat-fishing river ; 
some famous ones being the AarUvold, Dragset, Lo, Dombu. 
On the Gula fine beats are, Gidfos, Void, Eogstad, Langletet. 
On the river Stjordal the best beats are the Hegre, Lerfold, Foro, 
Floren-Kringen. Other good streams on which beats may be 
had are the Etne, Aaro, or one may take a combination in the 
Simdal Valley of the Nyheim and Lindal where there is salmon, 
trout and lake river fishing and reindeer hunting. The Aargaard 
Eiver in the Namsen Fjord, the Frafjord Eiver, Famous, the 
Hyen, Tromsoe Amt, Nordland, Vefsen, Atran, !C>rordfjord, and 
many more, to reach, which the angler takes the WUson Line of 
steamers from HuU to Trondhjem, or Christiania, and by rail 
to the former. The angler can make all arrangements ia London 
for the, rent of beats, from some rehable agent, as Lumley & 
Dowell, Lumley House, St. James Street, and doubtless there 
are many others. 

There is an abundance of free trout fishing in l^Torway, as at 
Sivertsen's Sande, Sondfjord, Eed Hotel, Nordfjord, Liland's 
Hotel, Bolken. 

The beautiful trout streams of Finland have been referred 
to. In North Finland, at Kajana, there is excellent fishing 
for trout, grayling, etc., the season beginning the twentieth to 
twenty-sixth of June. Fifty miles from here is Vaala on the 
Elea Eiver, with salmon and sea-trout. 

In Iceland the season begins June the first, and lasts until 
the first of September. There is fine salmon fishing within 
three mUes of Eeykjavik. Jock Scott, the Doctors, Silver Gray 
are favourite flies for Iceland, and the angler should remember 
that Iceland is not an ice land in summer. It is within nine 
hundred miles of Edinburgh and there is a regular hue of steamers 
from Leith to Eeykjavik. There are snow-capped mountains, 
glaciers ; but for the angler in search of salmon, grilse, brown 
trout and char, there are flower-clad vaUeys, radiant green hills, 
air pure and scintillant and the nightless day, 




' O Florida, thou poem of the States, 

Thou coral garden where the warm sea sings, 
'Tis sweet in dreams to drift beyond thy gates. 

Like voyagers old who sought immortal spring, 
'Neath golden skies impearled with ibis wings. 

Afar from crystal season's lines of blue. 
And cloudy conifers of ice and snow. 

And with the double sense of beauty view 
In things we feel the things we are to know. 

And almost hear the palpitating strings 
Of life harps lost in answering numbers play. 

Would that my song could like thy bird songs flow 
Like winged poets to the sun -land true ! 

Sweet would I sing, O Riviere du Mai ! ' 

Hezekiah BuMerworth. 

AMONG the oceanic fishes there is a group which for con- 
venience may be termed the Jacks. They are found in 
many seas, but, as a rule, in the warmer temperate zones, north 
and south. It was of Melanthus that the poet wrote : 

' I quaffed full bowls in a capacious shell. 
Ye Gods if earthy men thus live and drink 
Give me the land, the sea's a worthless sink.' 

Some of the jacks I have seen in Florida might have penned 
these lines, as I have watched them take to the land in their 
fierce rushes, dashing far out on to the beach, to slowly struggle 
back again. This was the jack or crevall6 of Florida, of which 
Mr. Izaac McLellan wrote : 

' Swift speed crevaUe over that watery plain. 
Swift over Indian River's broad expanse. 


Swift where the ripples boil with finny hosts. 

Bright guttering they glance ; 
And when the angler's spoon is over them cast, 

How fierce, how vigorous the fight for Ufe ! 
Now in the deeps they plunge, now leap in air. 

Till ends the unequal strife.' 

Their fierce nature was weU illustrated by these rushes on 
certain keys of the Florida reef, where I have often joined in 
the mfil^e. The jacks, in spring and summer particularly, 
run in shoals of many thousands, and when seized with a blood 
or hunger lust, go mad, lose all timidity, and like an army of 
some oceanic Mahdi, rush on the shoals of sardines and drive 
them on to the beaches, presenting a scene of havoc and slaughter 
difficult to believe if one has not been in it. 

At a certain key we always attended these ' beats ' to 
watch the struggle and to aid the fishermen catch jacks. The 
warning was a deep but loud roar, and a crashing of fishes on 
the water — a sound that had a definite meaning to all who 
heard it, and which could be distinguished a mile or more on a 
hot stiU day. These were summer seas when the Gulf was a 
disk of steel, its normal condition, and while hot, there was a 
charm difficult to describe, as here were the gardens of the sea — ^the 

' Gulfs enchanted where the siren slugs and coral reefs lie bare.' 

The reef was the top of a coral mountain, and vast legions 
of fishes climbed its heights from the abysmal regions where 
there was little or no Ufe, like birds, to live and feed on the 
literal gardens along its slopes. 

Following up one of the ' beats ' one day, we presently saw 
it — a mass of foam on the clear surface, as though a volcano 
had suddenly burst forth, and the sea was seething and boiling. 
When we reached the spot the jacks had driven a large shoal 
(or ' school ' as they call it in Florida) of sardines on to the 
beach of Long Key (Tortugas), where they formed a windrow 
of fishes several feet in width, a solid animated mass, with 

14 209 


"backs out of water, while for ten feet outside of that, the water 
■was black with the sardines and rapidly beconaing red, due to 
the carnage. We hauled the dinghy on the beach, and I waded 
into the mass to catch some of the jacks. The school was 
•evidently made up of several thousand, and they would dash 
into the sardines with such force that they went completely 
through them, and high and dry on the sands where my man 
■caught them by the tail and threw them up higher. 

The sardines paid no attention to me ; fear of a deadly type 
had seized them, and they merely hugged the shore and went 
down, as the fierce living tempest charged into them, mowing 
them down, killing from a mere blood lust. 

The market fishermen wanted jacks, so we entered into this 
battle, and as the big fish swarmed about my legs, striking me, 
1 caught them by the tail and tossed them out onto the sands, 
that were soon a writhing mass, most of them having gone 
ashore of their own volition. For twenty minutes or half an 
Tiour this wonderful rush and pandemonium continued ; then 
the jacks drew off, like an army, and left a long Une of blood 
along the sands, and dead and maimed sardines to teU the story, 
upon which guUs and brown pelicans and man-of-war birds 
"began to feed. 

Either with a hand-line or rod and reel, the jack or crevall^, 
Caranx hippos, will afford a remarkable illustration of strength, 
and it should be taken with the rod trolling, or by casting with 
live bait. The nine-ounce rod of the Tuna Club description is 
■eminently adapted to the occasion ; and few, if any fishes of the 
sea make a better struggle for freedom. In six or seven years, 
Tvinter and summer, on the outer Florida reef, where my father, 
an army officer, was stationed, years ago, I had many a bout 
"with those splendid fishes, that gave no quarter, nor did they 
ask it, but fought to the finish. 

The jacks of the crevall6 type are extremely common in 
nearly aU tropic and semi-tropic seas, though their place appears 
to be taken in California (so far as the angler is concerned) by 



the yellowtail, a cousin of the amber-jack, which has many of 
the characteristics of the typical jacks. It is common in Florida, 
^nd is found very generally in the West India Islands. It has 
been taken on the American coast north of Florida, but it is an 
■exception ; the grounds of its choice being the warm waters 
-of the south, where smaU fry abound in unlimited quantities. 
Jn Florida it appears in greatest numbers in the summer months, 
-ranging from five to twenty or even more pounds. 

Another jack is known as the goggle-eyed jack of Bermuda, 
■and very generally throughout the West Indies. Still another 
jack, Carangus lotus, has a world-wide range from America to 
South America and the Indian Ocean. Its common name is 
jurel. Another species, the Cuban jurel, is common about that 
Island, and affords excellent sport. Here, too, is found that 
extraordinary jack, of thirty or forty pounds, known as Hynnis 
■cubensis, and another species, H. hopMnsi, of the Pacific coast, near 

There are a number of smaller allied fishes which are game 
in every sense, if taken with appropriate tackle, as the Eunner 
(Garanx crysos). Nearly all of these jacks ' beat,' the sound of 
the carnage in the semi-tropics arousing man and bird. Mr. 
W. H. Gregg in referring to it says : ' I have heard and seen 
aU the above movements of schools of mullet in the Indian Eiver ; 
many times their rushes, when pursued by porpoise, sharks 
and crevall^, sounding like distant thunder or artillery.' The 
pompano of the Indian Eiver country, eastern Florida, bears a 
close resemblance to the jacks, and is a cousin. It attains a 
freight of from five to eight pounds, though the average is 
much less ; and if I am not mistaken, I have seen a thirty 
pounder taken in a seine at Tortugas. A drawing was made of 
this fish, and it corresponded to the typical pompano. 

Almost every angler has had an experience with jumping 
fishes, and I have had many a pompano leap into my boat, not 
to speak of mullet, gars and many more ; but the little pompano 
is an adept. Mr. Gregg tells of a pompano that sprang into the 



engine-room of a steamer. I know of a pound and a quarter 
flying fish that leaped aboard the ocean-going steamer Hermosa 
in the Santa Catalina Island Channel, and landed in the bar, 
to the destruction of glass ware. 

If the angler can find a good locality in Florida where he 
can fish for the big jack from the shore, he should not miss the 
opportunity. Such a place feU to my good fortune at Long Key, 
not the famous tarpon and swordfish locality of the upper reef, 
but at the Tortugas group, sixty miles west of Key West. Here 
on the east side of the Key the jacks would beat almost every- 
day in summer. At such time I would wade out a few feet on 
the south side and cast my sardine into the blue channel, that 
like an artery wound in and out among these gardens of the sea> 
It would not be long before I would have a strike, and what a 
strike ! It was a condensed tuna, taken on the rush, with a bang, 
smash, and if you did not have affairs — ^hne, reel, etc. — rin shape, 
something would ^ve, and then would begin a fight worth while, 
the rod bending to the breaking point, the jack makiag great 
characteristic side runs, and a splendid exhibition, as I gradu- 
ally backed in and played him in the shallows within reach of 
the negro's grains in lieu of gaff. 

To interpolate, there is a feature of the fishing in Florida 
that was particularly fascinating to me, and I observe that the 
late Mr. Arthur St. John Newbury in his charming book on 
Florida fishing, gives a picture illustrating it. This is bait 
catching. There are so many fishes to catch here, with so many 
varied appetites, that the tyro wHl often fail because he innocently 
attempts to force an impossible bait on a fish. Some fancy 
crabs ; others fish. One wiU take sardines or hardheads ; 
another takes conch, or crayfish or shrimp. The taking of this 
bait is a fasdnation, or was to me. Many an early morning at 
sunrise, I was on the shallow lagoon, grains (spear, with two 
short prongs) in hand, to take crayfish. Or later followed them and 
took them where their whips appeared, as they lived beneath 
every coral head or bunch. Or we drifted along, diving for 



conchs, the beautiful big pink-lipped shell, a famous bait for 
red snapper, grouper, grunt and many more, and a bonne houche 
to many Bahamians who ate it in the olden days, and so were 
oaUed Conchs. Conch au naturel mil hardly appeal to one, 
but conch, well pounded, as with abalone, makes a chowder not 
to be despised. 

The most esthetic bait catching is with the cast-net. An 
old negro servant, or boat caretaker, of my father's, in the army, 
made me a small cast-net suitable for a boy of twelve or thirteen. 
I became skilful with it in a short time, and spent many an hour 
stealing upon mullets and casting for them. There is something 
very graceful in this, especially to see some of the tall negroes 
step along with the cast-net between their teeth and held to 
the left, creeping upon a school of mullets, so intent in burrowing 
in the mud, so concealed by it, that they cannot see the impend- 
ing danger. AU at once the fisherman stops, moves his body to 
the left, to get a swing if the net is heavy, whirls it to the right, 
and then from the left, swings it so that it opens out six or eight 
or more feet, and drops like an umbrella upon the unsuspecting 
fish that are effectually caged. 

At the Tarpon Club, Port Aransas, Texas, my young bait 
catcher had a duplicate of my small cast-net. It was not over 
four feet across, and the weights were light. When I proposed 
to go for Spanish mackerel or channel bass, he would run down 
to the beach, dash into the water and cast his net as he went, so 
catching the shrimp bait necessary for this game. In CaUfornia 
the crayfish are too deep to grain, so are taken in traps, while the 
abalone is prised from the rocks by the aid of a glass box and a 
long-handled gouge. The Japanese go down in armour, walk 
along the bottom and filch them. 

Among the jacks, though only a distant cousin to them, is the 
amber-jack of Florida, one of the finest of the Atlantic coast 
fishes. It resembles the CaHfornia yellowtail, but is longer, 
thicker or more bulky, attaining a weight of over eighty pounds. 
The average fish weighs about twenty-five pounds. This is 



Seriola lalandi. It is taken in great numbers at Palm Beach 
and along the Florida coast. They are often caught trolling- 
from a launch ; but for rod and reel fishing, unless the launch is. 
small enough to move about quickly, a row-boat is advisable. 
A nine-ounce, seven- or eight-foot rod is long enough for this, 
game, usiag a belt with a butt socket. A good multiplying- 
reel is a necessity, a long, piano-wire leader, with several swivels 
(the "winged swivels of Mr. iN'ewbury are excellent), and a 10/* 
tarpon hook, or a smaller one if live bait is used. The amber- 
jack is not particular as to bait ; but a live mullet or bluefish 
makes still fishing very alluring, and when troUing from a sail- 
boat or launch, squid or dead bait is acceptable. To my mind, the 
most fascinating method is to ' still fish ' with live bait, or, if. 
possible, approach a school of small fry, beneath which the 
amber-jacks are lying. Mr. Gregg in his valuable book, Hotc 
to Catch Fish in Florida, describes an instance. When on leaving 
the Eoyal Poinoiana, his attention was attracted to a school 
of fish near the pier. It was a school of bluefish, and baiting 
their hooks with small pieces of mullet, they hooked a bluefish^ 
which in turn was taken by the game they were after, the amber- 
jack beneath. Mr. Gregg hooked a number before he landed 
a fish, as they aU came at the dock and cut the Une, an experi- 
ence I have often had with the yelloAvtail at Avalon. 

An enthusiastic angler, burdened "with the symptoms of an 
artistic temperament is liable to think that every fish is the 
best and fiercest fighter. So while I have had no extended ex- 
perience "with this fish, I have a most alluring impression and 
memory of those I have taken ; and if there is anything more 
soul-stirring (in fishes of this size) than the first rush of a forty- 
pound amber-jack, I do not know it. The imperious smashing^ 
departure, the high staccato of the reel — ^a real shriek — ^from 
the cUck, the sense of power and strength the fish gives you, are 
all elements which go to make up a great game fish. I refer 
now to a fish taken from a small, well-handled boat, where the 
oarsman can keep you facing the game, and you are playing it 


■with a fairly light rod from the boat. There are situations where 
the sailboat must be employed ; but I have had such disastrous 
happenings, attempting to get a boat up into the Tvind before a. 
bluefish or other big fish takes all the hne, that I am opposed 
to it on strictly moral grounds. I once fished in this way with a 
friend, who was very desirous of becoming a writer, but always- 
regretted that it was impossible, as he had a very Umited voca- 
bulary. After seeing him try to land a bluefish from a cat- 
boat in a fresh breeze, with a stupid skipper, I found myself in a. 
position to assure him that if a limited vocabulary was aU that 
stood in the way of his ambition, he need have no fears. 

The amber-jacks have a wide range. Some of the species, 
found over the world are, 8. zonata, dumerili, mazatlana, fasciata, 
rivoliana, falcata, and I think there is a huge fellow at Hawaii 
that has escaped the eagle eye of the speciahsts. 

In size the amber-jack ranges beyond one hundred pounds, 
I have seen such a fish or a picture of it from Hawaii. Arthur 
St. John Newbury has a record of a fifty-two and a half pounder, 
which was four feet three inches long. Palm Beach has some 
fine amber-jacks. Mr. Wm. L. Green has taken an eighty-one 
and a half pounder. Mr. J. T. Caldwell of New York exceeded 
this in 1905 with a ninety-two pound fish, taken with a twenty- 
one thread line. Mr. Green's catches are as follows : thirty-four 
pounds, forty-two and a half pounds, sixty-seven and a half 
pounds, sixty-seven pounds, and eighty-one and a half pounds. 

These are the giants of the tribe, but there are many more^ 
as the smaller allied forms, which are game fishes in every sense j 
delight givers, which can sometimes be taken with a fly and a. 
trout rod. The amber-fishes do not reach England, but some 
of the finest jack fishing is found beneath the British flag, in. 
various parts of the world. 




' Yo-ho, yo-ho, and away we go. 

Away o'er Biscayne Bay. 
With a larboard side and a starboard side. 
And off at the break of day ! 

We trimmed our craft both fore and aft, 

And sped on the flowing tide ; 
With a jolly crew and mountain dew 

We cast aU cares aside, 

Our boat did laugh at the briny chafE, 

A gallant craft was she ; 
A school of porpoise passed by, 

A-swimming lustily. 

A leopard shark played tag with our bark, 

A sea-cow chewed her hay ; 
On a limestone rock a crocodile crocked 

" Three cheers for Biscayne Bay ! " 

A flying fish flew 'midst our merry crew, 

A dog-fish barked with glee, 
As we chewed the tail of a youthful whale. 

And growled at a stingaree.' 


ALMOST any one would like to fish with the man who wrote 
these jingles, as it is evident the poet not only knows 
how to fish, but knows what to take to preserve the peace. No 
systematist stickling for mere truth and veracity, but an old- 
fashioned angler, of an ancient vintage. If the fish the lady 
catches is light in weight, and a cause of sorrow and tears, he 
sees that it is loaded with sinkers ; he has seen the crocodile, 
even at sea. He went to school with the sea-serpent, and is a 
blood relation of a merman ; and as for romance, he will teU you 

Fig. 35. 

Game Fishes of Florida. (Photographed from life, by Hunt). 

1. Red Grouper. 2. Jew-fish. 3. Sea-trout. 4. Margate Fish (Snapper). 5. Hog-fish. 

6. Jack (Cavalle). p. 216. 


how the sirens enticed him on to a reef where all hands, including 
himself, were lost. In a word, he is a man of imagination, ready 
at a moment's notice to see anything, of any size, shape, or colour. 
He is a philosopher ; he knows that if he did tell the truth no 
one would believe him, so why worry ? Why not revel in the 
dehghts of the imagination ? 

Almost every angler knows such a man, who makes Uf e longer 
and joUier for himself, and shorter for the fishes. I have fished 
with such an angler not far from Biscayne Bay, down the keys, 
and the reference to the dog-fish ' that really did growl at a 
stingaree ' reminds me of days of delight we had in fishing for the 
small fishes of the Florida reef — the dog-fish that growled, 
grunts that grunted, porcupine fish that hissed and cUcked, 
and stingaree that was growled at, the leopard-shark, and many 
more, all the familiars of the great reef, the advance guard of 
Florida, now bounded and cemented into a spinal cord by the 
new railroad by which the angler can go aboard in New York in a 
snowstorm, and awake, if he sleeps long enough and not longer 
than the average angler cares to sleep, and find himself in the 
Tropics, on the great fishing grounds of the Gulf of Mexico. 

Such is the vogue of the big game fishes in California and 
Florida that one almost loses sight of the many smaU ones that 
afford the wandering angler such pleasurable sport. Florida 
in particular is the home of countless fishes ranging in weight up 
to six or eight pounds, or even ten, which are delight-givers in 
more ways than one. To some a fish must appeal to the shade 
of Lucullus ; to others the game is played under the banner of 
St. Zeno alone ; but for you and for me a happy combination 
is desirable, the fish must be a hard fighter and a generous pan- 
fish as well. Most of the fishes referred to in this chapter come 
under this head. 

Florida and CaUfornia, especially in the southern part of each 
State, are, in all probabUity, the most famous fishing grounds 
in the civilized world. It is not fish alone that makes good fishing. 
I have seen fish biting about certain keys in Florida in August, 



taking the bait, or anything, so readily, that it was murder ; 
yet so far as sport was concerned, one might as well try to go 
a-fishing with Charon on the Styx ; it was hot beyond expres- 
sion, boiling, steaming, and I had to timible overboard every little 
while to cool off. One has to be an enthusiast to find enjoyment 
mider such conditions. In Southern California I have seen big 
game fishes pile into a little inlet at San Mcolas Island — a melan- 
choly spot, ninety miles from Avalon — ^pUe in such nuinbers 
that they took Une, sinkers, anything. But it was eternally 
blowing here ; the air was filled with sand and spume, and the 
very winds conspired to drive one out. In a word, fishing, anghng, 
without some of the comforts, is a sad travesty. One ought to 
have good weather, smooth waters to play big game, and clear 
waters for smaller fry, that one may enter into the full enjoyment 
of the sport. 

This is what has made the waters of Santa CataUna famous, 
not to speak of Bermuda. The conditions at the former are ideal ; 
eighteen miles at sea, and twenty miles of practical lee. The 
same may be true of San Clemente, twenty miles still further 
out, in September, and at Monterey, from 6 until 11 a.m., when 
it begins to blow, and the scene changes. 

The average angler does not see the best fishing of Florida, 
as it is on in the summer. He fishes for tarpon in the early 
spring, amber-jack and others ; but it is in summer, when the 
sun is overhead, and long, hot days give a dead calm for weeks at 
a time that the sport is at its best, yet often seething, sizzling. 
I have fished the Florida keys every month in the year, and a 
number of summers, and they are far more comfortable than 
the_2mainland regions, the heat being tempered by the winds, 
the mosquitoes not so evident. In fact, the climate of Key West 
and the lower reef is of the best. 

In California the sea-fishing is in summer, or from March 
imtil December, and the angler rarely finds a day too hot for 
comfort on the water. In midsummer in California the nights 
are often too cool to go out on the water with comfort, this 


attractive feature of the East is eliminated, but it means cool 
nights for sleep. On the Gulf coast of Texas, as at Aransas and 
other passes near Corpus Christi, the heat is in force in August 
when angling for tarpon, but there is little discomfort out on the 
water where there is a constant breeze coming in over the Gulfy 
a breeze that is piling up the sand dunes and blowing the 
mosquitoes into the bay. 

The big fishes of the Florida Eeef and the peninsula regioa 
that appeal to the angler are the barracuda, black grouper, the 
sword- or sailfish, amber- jack, tarpon, kingflsh and its cousin,, 
and several more — ^you can count them on the fingers of two 
hands ; but when it comes to the small fry, there are seemingly 
myriads ; the grunts, a motley, bespangled, throng, the famiUars. 
of every shoal, reef, or mangrove lagoon ; grunts (and they da 
grunt) in red and yellow, grunts in gold and silver, grunts in black 
and white, and their cousins ad infinitum. When everything- 
else fails the grunts are there, you cannot miss them, and it can 
be said that fried grunt would have been commended by LucuUus 
himself. ' Grunts and grits ' mean something in Florida. 
This feature of the grunt covers a multitude of sins of omission, 
as it is only by a fierce tug at the imagination that the inter- 
esting little ' nibbler ' can be considered a game fish, though on 
a two- or three-ounce split bamboo rod he will make the welkia 
of the reef ring for a limited time. 

One cannot live long in Florida without hearing of the 
snappers. He will see a red snapper fisherman who sends his. 
catch to Ifew York or Havana. These are taken in deep holes, 
or at certain places in the Gulf, on hand-hnes, and do not afford 
much sport except of the hand-Hue variety. But there is another 
group of snappers that, to me at least (and I know them weU)^ 
are among the most beautiful of all sea fishes ; not for their gor- 
geous colours or flaming tints ; as the parrot-fishes, the coral 
or paradise-fishes, which live with them around the coral heads^ 
are far more brilliant ; but the snappers are beautiful in the- 
sense of artistic richness, dignity, purity, and simplicity of 



■coloBTs which are often, as in the gray snapper, of the plainest 
description. This radiant fish is the Lutianus griseus of the 
scientist, the Pargo prieto of the Cuban, and plain snapper of 
the Conch, the gray snapper of the angler merely because he 
looks gray when compared to his twenty or more generic cousins. 
In shallow water he is gray, adapting himself to the colour of the 
mud or sand, but when in greater depths he comes up, if he 
■comes at all, brilliant in reddish-copper hues. The gray snapper 
looks gray, but he is really green above ; the middle of each 
scale is black, the edge white with dashes of colour here and 
there, making it a fish that appeals to the artist. 

It has a high dorsal, a large powerful tail teUiag of fighting 
spirit and the strength to back it up ; a gem-hke eye, and perfect 
3)roportions. At first glance one would say the gray snapper is 
a long, graceful, smaU-mouth black bass ; but it is more graceful, 
more attractive, and with many times the strength and fight- 
ing quality. The fish, doubtless, is found all over the West 
Indies, and, where I have caught it on the Tortugas reefs, 
is one of the cleverest of all fishes and the most difficult to 

On the large, growing, atoll-Uke key where I fished, a stranger 
might have hunted for gray snappers a month, and never 
iound them, as they rarely consorted with the brilliant host 
that was foimd in the open. I knew an old wreck near Garden 
Key ; what it was, or where it came from, no one knew. I found 
it by accident at a very low tide, the entire skeleton of a big 
«hip, blown in by a hurricane or wrecked by the old buccaneers. 
As I peered down through the placid waters I saw, not ingots from 
what might have been an old galleon, but scores of snappers, 
hanging, poising in mid-water like birds. And such snappers ! 
ranging from five to ten and doubtless twenty pounds. Their 
dignity was their chief characteristic. Other fishes dashed 
■at the conch or mullet bait, but the gray snappers never moved ; 
they did not deign even to look at it, and one might have fished 
for them an eternity without success. 



1 I had many experiences with these dainty fishes before I 
caught them, and they are worthy the best and Ughtest tackle — 
a six- or eight-ounce rod nine or ten feet long, with a six-thread 
line, a long fine copper-wire leader, and small 6/° hook, and the 
old-fashioned O'Shaughnessey, if you please. This baited with 
crayfish, sardine or small fishes, I found very alluring, and a ten- 
or fifteen-pound snapper on this tackle is a joy indeed. Their 
rushes are magnificent, there is no other word for it, and they 
are kept up, this way and that, in and out, now rising to the sur- 
face, to dash down, come in, and play aU the tricks known to 
clever fishes. I believe a large gray snapper on fair tackle has a 
greater individuality than almost any fish I know. You may find 
him around docks, a little way off, or old wrecks, or about man- 
grove stumps that have been blown out into lagoons. 

The young are ready biters and beautiful little creatures. 
It is a satisfaction to the angler to know that his catch is edible; 
and no better table fish swims along the radiant groves of the 
Florida Eeef. Jordan gives the salt Indian Eiver, and Jack 
Channel Key West, as good fishing grounds, and I fancy all the 
wrecks along the coast are the homes of this fish. 

Very similar to the gray snapper is the dog snapper, L. jocu. 
Above, it is oUve in colour, the sides are often red or old-rose, 
the cheeks red. I have caught this snapper weighing at least 
twenty pounds from a boat off the Garden Key Eeef, using tackle 
not much heavier than a short eight-ounce black bass rod. But 
■ here the comparison ends, the silk enamelled line of the bass, 
angler wiU not do. 

Another radiant snapper is the schoolmaster, L. afodus, 
or Fargo amarilla ; also the sUk snapper, L. vivanuis. A long^ 
powerful snapper is better known as the Fargo criollo, or mutton 
snapper, L. analis. I have seen specimens which must have 

^ It should be remembered I am describing the gray snapper of the 
Tortugas group, the extreme outer keys, sixty mUes beyond Key West. 
The snapper of Key Biscayne and Long Key may be a very different fish on. 
the line. 



TV^eighed thirty pounds at Bush Key where the channel came in 
near shore and dead coral was piled up by the sea. 

AU these snappers came into the sandy lagoons to feed at 
night, when we often caught them in seines in localities that 
knew them not during the day. One night with mullet bait I 
hooked a fish here which towed my light dinghy about for nearly 
«,n hour before I could land it. I hooked it hardly three feet 
irom the shore, where the fish was doubtless hunting for crabs ; 
but its fine rush, and my flying leap into the boat to save my 
line, wiU long be remembered. 

The vi-vid red-tailed Lane snapper, L. synagris, is an attrac- 
tive feUow. The average fish of the markets weigh two or 
three pounds, but specimens weighing ten or twelve pounds 
are known to anglers. Auy one who knew Key West in the 
seventies will recall ' Paublo,' who sold snappers, and his cry, 
* Snappers an' Eabirubia, yallertail an' snappers ! ' To eat 
"* yallertaU,' is one thing, to remember, and to catch it another. 
The Florida yellowtail is a beautiful little snapper-like fish with 
a big yeUow tail, a yellow stripe, a blaze of silver and yellow ; an 
alluring fish about ten or twelve inches long, often two feet, and 
Tanging up to five or six pounds. It deserves very light tackle. 
I could always find it on the reef, just beyond the surf in a grove 
of briUiant gorgonias and corals, in company with angel-fishes 
<of various kinds. It has none of the shyness or clever qualities 
of its cousins the snappers, but wiU take conch or fish bait, and 
<;an be caught at any time, being a very democratic and innocent 
little fish ; hence it will not surprise one to learn that it is a 
fine table fish and one most in evidence. S'o fish of its size makes 
a better play on an eight-ounce split bamboo or cane. To see a 
yellowtail flash through a coral grove on one's Hne and bending 
rod is a revelation. Nearly all these fishes are taken in traps 
or on heavy hand-lines, hence their game qualities are never 
suspected except by the few well-equipped anglers who go down 
the Florida Eeef. 

For yellowtail we often rowed out from Garden Key, across 



the big lagoon, passing beds of branch coral which stretched 
away for miles, entered a little five-foot channel through the 
reef, if the sea was low, and anchored in about fifteen or twenty- 
feet of water. Here was a wealth of game. We were fishing 
for yeUowtails, but caught almost everything ; now a flat high 
angel-fish, or a richly-coloured Chaetodon, ablaze with blues 
and yeUows — a veritable butterfly of the sea. Then would 
come a yeUowtail, next a porcupine fish covered with spines, 
which expanded Uke a balloon the moment it reached the surface 
and floated away upon it. Then a moray, spotted like a tiger, 
coiling Kke a snake. Most of these might be considered vermin, 
but some are true game flshes, particularly some of the so-called 
angel and parrot-fishes. Of the former I would give the palm 
to one called the black angel-fish, Pomacanthus ; an extraor- 
dinary creature, one of a score of scaled angels. In shape it is 
high or elevated, its extraordinary fin or fleshy hump making it 
still higher. The general colour is gray, with black or dark 
spots ; the mouth a vivid white. 

The young are striped with white bars ; but the older they 
grow the grayer they become. The large ones are two feet 
long and will average six or eight pounds. The very shape of 
the fish is suggestive of quaUties of resistance, and the suggestion 
is not imaginary. The mouth of the angel-fish is so small that 
an extremely small but very strong hook is required ; a number 
six-thread linen Une, a short leader or trace of very fine copper 
wire, and no sinker. The rod should be a stout eight-ounce split 
bamboo cane, or greenheart, about seven or eight feet long. 
With this and crayfish bait you are equipped. You might fish 
for them a year with a yellowtail hook and never hook them 
because they cannot take it in, or with a delicate hook, as they 
bite it off with their ivory-like teeth. 

In the home of the angel-fish there are countless other fishes 
quicker of motion, and the chances are that you wiU catch 
many grunts and yeUowtails before the dignified, slow-moving 
black angel takes the lure. So you cast, and as the throng rises, 



jerk your bait away from the quick swimmers, or better, toss a 
handful of bait some feet away to attract them. The slow 
dignified angel-flsh is left behind, and casting your lure in his 
direction he takes it in the deliberate fashion. The body, or about 
one-third of it, including the head, is a vivid yellow ; the mouth 
is blue, the giU edges and part of the dorsal and ventral fins 
vermilion, while the central portion is velvet -black — a> most 
striking arrangement of colours not to be mistaken. For hours 
I have drifted over the homes of these radiant creatures, watch- 
ing them through the water glass, and it would be difficult to 
adequately describe the remarkable colours of these fishes, of 
these gardens of the sea, that seem to be parrots, so far as 
plumage goes. 

If in diiEting over these gardens of the reef you chance to 
have a two-ounce split bamboo and a fly hook you can try a 
lesser-sized band of angel-fishes, called coral- fishes, or Chaetodons. 
They are the tourmalines of the sea, gems of many colours, 
scintillating and blazing tike real gems in the clear waters of 
the reef, standing out in sharp rehef against the red, yellow, 
lavender, and brown sea-plumes. These dainty fishes in yellows 
and blues, splashed and striped, are game, if the very hghtest tackle 
is used. 

Just as the parrots of the tropical forests seem designed to 
lend beauty and brilliant colour to the bizarre foliage of these 
regions, so the parrot-fishes of the tribe of Scarus are the birds of 
the tropic seas. Lac6p6de says : ' Le feu du diamant, du rubis, 
de la topaz, de I'^meraude, du saphir, de I'am^thyste, du grenat, 
scintille sur leurs ^cailles polies, il briUe sur leur surface en gouttes, 
croissans, en raies, en bandes, en anneaux, en ceintures, en 
zones, en ondes ; il se mele ^ I'^clat de I'or et de I'argent, qui 
y resplendit sur des grandes places, les teintes obscures, les aires 
pales, et pour ainsi d^color^es.' 

Badham recognized their beauty and wrote : 

' While blazing breast of humming-bird and Jo's stifien'd wing 
Are bright as when they first came forth new-painted in the spring, 


While speckled snake and spotted pard their markings still display, 
Though he who once embalm'd them both himself be turned to clay. 
On fish a different fate attends, nor reach they long the shore 
Ere fade their hues Uke rainbow tints, and soon their beauty's o'er. 
The eye that late in ocean's flood was large and round and full. 
Becomes on land a sunken orb, glaucomatous and dull ; 
The giUs, like mushrooms, soon begin to turn from pink to black. 
The blood congeals in stasis thick, the scales upturn and crack ; 
And those fair forms, a Veronese, in art's meridian power. 
With every varied tint at hand, and in his happiest hour, 
Could ne'er in equal beauty deck and bid the canvas live. 
Are now so colourless and cold, a Rembrandt's touch might give.' 

All the classical writers refer to them. IsTuma called them 
' brains of Jove,' and Aristotle dwelt upon their beauties and 
believed they are the only fishes that sleep at night, as note his lines : 

' Scarus alone their folded eyehds close 
In grateful intervals of soft repose ; 
In some sequestered ceU, removed from sight. 
They doze away the dangers of the night.' 

It is not the beauty of the fish, but its qualities as a hard 
fighter that I would refer to, and doubtless few anglers have 
played them, as their mouths are smaU, their teeth, after the 
fashion of the bird parrot, more hte biUs, only of seeming ivory 
or china, and the ordinary smaU hook, that naturally would be 
selected for them, is easily nipped off, as a macaw will bite a wire. 
The hook must be very small but very stout, a number six Unen 
line and a rod of six ounces, six or seven feet long, or better, an 
eight-ounce rod, ten feet long, stiff enough to Hft a sulking fish. 

With this equipment, and crayfish bait, we may approach the 
parrot fish, which is scorned by the marketman, who takes it 
because he cannot help it, in pots or traps set for something else. 
It is seen at times with the band previously described, but, 
like the angel-fish, is slow and dignified, and does not rush at the 
bait with the yeUowtails and grunts, but lurks in the shadow of 
some resplendent yellow sea-fan, where it will bend its body, as 
does the kelp-fish of California, then suddenly moves away 
rapidly, using its pectoral fins and not its tail. 

15 225 


One hot day I anchored my dinghy » near a dump of coral 
heads, hollowed out like gigantic vases, and began to fish, cast- 
ing out into water fifteen or twenty feet deep, but so clear that I 
could see the smallest fish. The climatic conditions were not 
enticing. It was August, and the heat was so intense that every 
now and then it was our custom to drop overboard, or sit on the 
rail with feet swinging in the water. The fishing ground was 
on the outer reef not seventy miles from Havana. I could see 
fishes of all kinds, and a dozen or more brilliant blue parrot- 
fishes, known as the sea turquoise, 8carus caeruleus, being of that 
colour. By tossing bait to the right and left I attracted the 
attention of the bait-eaters, and had for a moment the parrot 
fishes to myself. After repeated trials I hooked one of the largest. 
Knowing the parrot-Uke beaks of the fish, I handled it with care, 
but confess that its first rush amazed me. I saw it distinctly, 
and estimated its weight at fifteen or more pounds. I had 
hooked larger fish that bent my rod with less vigour. As soon 
as it felt the hook it came to the surface with a bound, turned, 
and dashed out of sight, my deUcate line melting away as though 
by magic, the little reel singing a barcarole of its own com- 

The fish took two hundred feet of my line before I rounded 
it up, then, doubtless, it turned its broad side and fins against me, 
and bore away and sulked like a salmon ; nor could I move it 
for a few moments, though I tapped on the rod and tried a variety 
ofjtime-honoured schemes, the Une trembling, a peculiar thrill 
coming up, adding to my excitement. Suddenly by its oato 
vohtion it started and dashed around in half a circle, not allowing 
me to gain an inch, and again it took a stand ; then started again, 
and came scurrying in, I reeling at the top of my speed, only 
to see the living turquoise dart by the boat not ten feet distant, 
and when the line came taut the reel fau-ly screamed, as all the 
hne gained, and more, went hissing after the fish. 

1 Any very smaU-keeled rowboat in Florida is a dinghy. H flat-bottomed 
it is a skiff. 


If a trout or a salmon had made such a play the angler would 
have been enthusiastic beyond measure ; but here was a despised 
parrot-fish, that no one would eat, a public and private nuisance, 
but certainly of v£ilue to the angler. How long I played the 
fish, or how long it played me, I do not remember, but it was 
certainly more than half an hour before I reeled it alongside my 
dinghy and watched it, lying prone on its side, roUing its eyes 
at me in an unflshlike manner. That was long ago, but the jaws 
of the fish, which I have as a trophy, are still as blue as turquoise. 

There were in these waters a number of these sea-parrots. 
One, the Loro verde, a beautiful dark green fish, a splendid fighter, 
that could break an ordinary hook with ease, and fight and defy 
the angler with extraordinary displays of pugnacity, and sud- 
denly at the net or gaff, turn over and roll its comical eyes, of a 
strange colour, at you, when of course you let him go. Some of 
. these sea-fish attain a length of two or three feet, and a weight 
of nearly thirty pounds. I am confident that one I took with a 
hand-hue, called the old wife, or Vieja fish, weighed aU that, but 
I did not weigh it. 

Their colour is a fascinating study. Thus if the fish is blue, 
its bony jaws are blue. If green, they are green ; the teeth 
seemingly have coalesced, forming a peculiar beak, so powerful 
that they can easily bite off a branch of coral or any equally hard 
substance. They, apparently, are found all over the world in 
tropical seas. Some are eaten, but in Florida the colours sug- 
gested copper to the natives and Conchs, and they are not used 
to any extent, and I do not recall that I experimented upon 
them myself, or upon myself with them. 

The chub, or Chopa lilanca, was one of this throng that, 
apparently, has never been discovered as a game fish, but a 
royal little fellow, and not so little after all, as specimens I took 
tipped the scales at ten pounds, and could be compared only to 
the parrot-fishes as hard and desperate fighters. Possibly it is 
because, when taken at all by tourists, they are caught with large 
hand-hues of the size used for red snappers, with a big sinker, 



when the little fish is entirely outclassed. The tourist to Florida 
or Bahama generally falls into the hands of a professional fisher- 
man who scorns the rod, and does not carry the tackle of the 
angler. But chub-fishing with an eight-ounce bamboo or green- 
heart rod and a number six line is a diversion that would have 
warmed the heart of Walton, or even the solemn anglers of old, 
who despised the fishes of the sea, or the poet who wrote : 

' I love not Angling (rude) on Seas — 

Fresh Streams my Inclination please, 

Whose sweet calm Course to Thought I call, 

And seek in Life to copy all ; 
In Bounds (like them) I fain would keep. 
Like them, would (when I break them) weep.' 

America has the conger up to eight feet from Cape Cod to 
Brazil, but it is not fished for. The lady-fish, Elops, and the 
ten-pounder are smaU silvery fishes, the former two or three 
feet in length and weighing in large specimens ten pounds. 
Both of these fishes are remarkably active leapers and eagerly 
sought by sea-anglers. In Western America, at Mazatlan, there 
is a fine Spanish mackerel, Seomberomorus sierra, which affords 
the natives an excellent food fish and the local Americans and 
EngUsh fine sport. The Petos is a fierce and active mackerel- 
Uke fish found rarely at Cuba and the Florida Keys. I recall 
but one. It is the AconthocyMum solandri of science. It attains 
a length of five or six feet and exceeds one hundred pounds in 
weight. It is taken trolling off the channel between Cuba and 
Key West and Tortugas, and on tuna tackle would make a great 

Cubans have a fish known as the Bscolar {Ruvettus pretiosus), 
also found in the Madeira, and I believe I saw one at the Azores. 
It is also not imknown in the Mediterranean. The Cubans con- 
sider it a great game fish, but they troU for it for the market, and 
call it ' a-scellaring.' The fish ranges up to one hundred pounds, 
its season following that of the swordfish. The httle pilot-fish of 
the shark (Naucrates), when about a foot long can be caught. I 


have kept a twelve-feet shark about my boat for half an hour by 
dropping overboard a sack containing several ancient groupers. 
It was an interesting sight to see this threatening monster come 
up out of the azure depths with his staff of three or four remoras 
and several pilot-fishes. As they hove in sight my boatman 
would toss over some ' chum ' — aground conch or crayfish — ^and by 
casting I frequently would hook the pilot-fishes that fought like 
yellowtails — their distant cousins. 

Off the iN'orth Atlantic occurs a large amber-jack-Uke fish, 
Seriola eonata, rarely caught with light tackle. The mackerel 
scad, Quia Quia, is a brave little fish in Florida, and the two-feet 
saurel (TracJiurus) on the Pacific Coast. The Silver Jack 
(Caromgus guar a) is two feet long, and many of its tribe are 
active game fishes of the open sea off many shores. The Permit, or 
big pompano, is a giant caught rarely on the Florida reef up to 
iiearly thirty pounds. The little pompano is one of the most 
beautiful leapers in the kingdom of the sea. I have watched them 
in the great lagoon of Texas when channel-bass fishing. They 
leave the water, then when in the air three or four feet they turn, 
offering their broad sides to the air, and slide away to an extra- 
ordinary distance. One day three or four landed in my boat ; 
when a school is alarmed it is a beautiful sight. 

A fine game fish is the robalo or snook (Centropomus) ; there 
are about fifteen species of them in salt and brackish water. It 
is fairly common in the sandy lagoons of the Florida reef where 
I have taken it. In Surinam specimens four feet in length have 
been caught. There is particularly good sport troUing for the 
robalo in the mouths of the rivers at San Juan, Porto Rico, and, 
according to Jordan, anglers take it in the rivers Rio de la Plata, 
Manati, and the Rio Grande de Arecibo. 

Comparable in a way to the Enghsh bass, is the sea-bass 
(Oentropristes) of the Korth Atlantic, the common fish of the 
anglers who go out on special angling steamboats to the banks 
from New York every day in summer. It ranges down to 
Florida, Uves in deep water, and is taken up to four pounds on 



hand-lines, though I have taken it with a rod in Long Island Sound. 
There are several relatives of this fish — the rock sea basses that 
are good game on the line. They are also known as squirrel 

The Triple tail {Loibotes) at twenty or thirty pounds is a hard 
fighter, due to its broad shape, that forces the angler to believe 
that he has a fish ten times its size. I have taken this fish in 
the Chesapeake Bay not far from the capes, and so far as I know, 
it is not a common catch anywhere. Along the Atlantic Coast 
the fish known as porgies afford no little pleasure to a score of 
admirers. They belong to the tribe of Calamus, and there are 
twelve or more species from Florida and the West Indies. You 
cannot fish in Cuba without hearing of the Pez de pluma, and in 
Key West the Conchs ' conjure ' with him. The jolt-head 
porgy grows larger than the others. I once hooked one that was 
at least three feet long and must have weighed thirty or more 
pounds. He was so large that two remoras doubtless thought 
he was a shark as they were riding with him, hard and fast, 
their black shapes in strong contrast to his striped gray sides. 
He took my crayfish bait, also my Une, but I had a good look 
at him. A somewhat similar fish is the sheepshead {ArcJwsargm) 
that ranges up and down the Atlantic Coast, and I have taken 
it in the St. John's Eiver and in the St. Mary's when fishing for 

The sheepshead weighs three or four pounds, but leviathans 
have been taken up to ten or fifteen pounds. This is the great fish 
of the people and in themarketsof the South and Gulf of Mexico;' 
a good food fish. Few fishes fight harder than this high-domed 
little fish. He fights and protests until he is in the boat, and 
often makes a desperate resistance at the surface, splashing the 
water over the angler. The sheepshead has a dignified stately 
manner of swimming that is very impressive. These fishes five 
on crustaceans and mollusks, and the ease with which they will 
bite off a poor or slender hook is ludicrous. 'So better illustra- 
tion of what a little fish can do on light tackle can be given than 


in the beautiful broad-shad {Xystaema) of the Florida reef, 
referred to in the chapter on barracuda fish. 

The big drum (Pogonias) is a hard-fighting fish. I have taken 
it on the New Jersey Coast, and on the Florida reef, though 
rarely. The fish is a striking creature, with large stripes, remind- 
ing one of the sheepshead, a high dorsal fin and very small lower 
jaw. It is high and heavy, and presents a formidable fight on 
light tackle. One weighing one hundred and forty-six pounds 
was taken at St. Augustine, Florida, some years ago, and thirty 
and forty pounders are not uncommon, though the average fish 
seen in the market is far below this. This fish makes an extra- 
ordinary noise, I have heard it at a distance of one hundred feet. 
During a hunting trip in Florida I took a large drum, and told 
my man, a Cracker, to clean it. To my amazement, he nailed 
its tail to a yellow-pine log and scaled the fish with a hoe. The 
scales of this fish are used in decorations and in the manufacture 
of baskets of a more or less melancholy character and design. 

There is scarcely any limit to the game fishes of the American 
coast, below latitude thirty- three degrees, and scores of small fishes 
of from two to five or more pounds are never heard of by the 
average angler. The tautog {Tautoga ornitis) is always in evidence 
as a good game fish on the ]S"ew England coast. Off Neyr York it is 
called the black-fish. I have had excellent sport with it at Fisher's 
Island, Long Island Sound, with rod and reel. From some rocky 
vantage ground the angler can cast his lure of lobster or clam into 
deep-blue water and enjoy sport of a rare kind. The fish has been 
taken three feet in length. The wrasses, to which this fish 
belongs, are legion, and many of them, including the l«few England 
' cunner,' particularly the Ifahant variety, are fine little game 
fishes. On the Pacific Coast the coal-fish [(Anoplopomidae)Jh 
taken at times by anglers, especially about the Straits of Fuca. 
It resembles the pollack in general appearance. 

In Canada and Alaska in the North Pacific a number of game 
fishes occur, which afford satisfactory angling from the sporting 
point of view. Among them are the greenlings. 



' One (like a Pirat) onely lives of prizes. 
That in the Deep he desperately surprises ; 
Another haunts the shore, to feed on foam. 
Another round about the Bocks doth roam,' 

De Bartas. 

THE name recalls a radiant picture of dead calm water 
merging into the horizon, soft winds, glassy seas, coral 
keys, topped with bay-cedar, with clouds of gulls hanging in the 
air. I see visions of the brown pelican lumbering along, fol- 
lowed by the laughing gull which alights on its head and snatches 
its prey. I see the fierce man-of-war bird, plimging down out 
of the sky. The dorsal fin of a man-eater cuts the deep blue of 
the channel ; a big loggerhead thrusts his head up and breaks the 
perfect glass-like surface, and I hear the distant murmur of the 
sea where the blue river of the Gulf Stream laves the dead coral 
rocks of the outer reef. All these, are features of the home of the 
wolf-lLlLe barracuda, as I once knew it on the extreme outegt" 
Florida reef. 

There is a great difference in fishes in different places, both in 
habit and other directions. I have never seen a tuna leap after it 
was hooked ; but I have seen a kingfish leap with a hook in his jaw, 
though not often ; which, I fancy, no one else has observed, as it is 
not the habit of the fish. I once placed myself on record as saying 
that the brown snapper is the cleverest fish in the sea ; but I 
have seen a statement that an angler on the coast of Florida took 
snappers with any bait. AU the barracudas I ever caught, and I 
have taken many at Tortugas, gave me the impression of great 
cleverness, as nearly all were taken where I could see them in the 

Fig. 36. Rod Catches of Big Fish. 

1. 63-Pound Channel Bass, Corsons Inlet, NJ., U.S. 2. The Author's Texas Tarpon. 
3. 41-Pound Striped Bass, by Mr. J. M. Gentle, N.Y. 4. Chinook Salmon, Monterey 
Bay, California (Pacific Salmon). 5. 54-Pound Barracuda, Long Key, Florida. p. 232. 


water, three, four or five feet deep ; and the sport, to me, being 
in the amount of skill required to lure the fish into taking my 
bait. On the other hand, my old guides, a Seminole Indian and 
a Conch, who had lived all their lives on the reef, took the largest 
barracudas in a manner so simple as to be laughable ; yet it 
became a delight to me. The men considered it a waste of time 
to troll or fish for the big barracuda, because he was so curious 
that they could easily ' grain ' him. The small fish, up to six 
or eight pounds, were found in the shallows, where I took them 
by wading out to them, and casting either with a live bait or a 
dead one, chiefly the former, using a little shiny, silvery fish 
known locally as a broad shad (Xystaema cinereum), but having 
no particular relationship to the shad of ion vivants. 

This little bait fish had, at least to me, a strong individuality. 
It was found in shallow waters, two, three or four feet deep, and 
on white sandy bottoms where it literally dissolved into its 
environment. It had a very pecuhar habit of swimming in a 
straight line a foot or two, then stopping and poising, perfectly 
still for a few moments, then moving ahead again, staring with 
its big eyes, a very curious and comical little fish and a victim 
to the cruel and rapacious wolf-Uke barracuda of five to eight 
pounds, which lived in the same fish city on the sandy floor of 
the reef. 

I cotild always take the shad with a pin hook and crayfish 
bait, as it has a very small mouth, and when used as live bait 
was a perfect lure to the barracudas. In angling, I would wade 
along until I saw a fish twenty or thirty feet away, which was 
always crouching close to the bottom and perfectly quiet like a 
pickerel ; then cast my bait ten feet ahead and in front of it ; 
gradually drawing the bait nearer and nearer until the barracuda 
saw it. It then became a fascinating study to see this clever 
mimic of the white sand take its prey. It was deliberation typified, 
to the limit of patience and exasperation, moving slowly forward, 
pushing the struggling bait with its pointed torpedo-like muzzle. 
Then it would back, to move forward again, seemingly scrutiniz- 



ing the bait, but always in the most prosaic and dignified fashion. 
This would occur many times, until finally, in ten or fifteen minutes, 
the barracuda seemed to have satisfied its curiosity, or to have 
played with the terrified lure to its satisfaction, when it would 
suddenly grip it with its wolf -like teeth by the end of the tail, and 
slowly rise from the bottom. During this performance there were 
no sudden or violent motions. The barracuda appeared and 
acted like an automaton, moving slowly off. Then it shifted the 
fish about, head down, as a snake wiU a frog, and gradually it 
would disappear, the barracuda moving perhaps eight or ten 
feet during this time. 

I was always a spectator of this tragedy, gradually creeping 
up, reefing in, so that by the time the tail of the shad disappeared 
down the mouth of this muscaUunge of the sea, I had a taut Une 
and struck. Straight, like an arrow from the bow, the fish would 
dash away to the shrill barcarole of the reel, then when the 
resilient rod held it, circling round me, bearing off in a gallant 
fashion to continue the fight until I had backed into the shore 
of Pearl Key which I often used as a base. I never saw a thirty 
or forty pounder in the shallows, but through the reef a mysterious 
blue artery-Uke channel cut its way, and here, or on the edges, 
the big barracuda poised, and was lured by troUing, or by the 
method I have suggested, which was a brazen appeal to the 
curiosity of the fish. 

The Seminole would go out in his light dinghy, armed with 
his grains, a small two-pronged, barbed spear, which fitted with 
a socket into a long slender, bending yellow pine pole at least 
ten or twelve feet in length. To the grains was attached a strong 
cod-line of one hundred feet which led up and was held in the 
hand. I took my seat in the bow, facing the stern, ' a looker on 
in Venice,' while he tossed over the line, about four feet long, 
to which was fastened a white rag. With the grains in his right 
hand, the barracuda hunter then began to scull the boat 
silently along, there being a row-lock astern for that purpose. 

The barracuda is doubtless possessed of courage and curiosity, 


as it pays little attention to a boat, and is at once attracted to the 
rag, and swims after it. I had seen nothing but the picturesque 
figure of the fisherman sculling with a peculiar rhythmic motion, 
holding the long grains balanced in his right hand, his gaze fixed on 
the indigo-blue of the channel just astern. Suddenly he motioned 
to me with his head. I crept towards him and looking over his 
shoulder into the water, I presently made out a barracuda of 
large size, at least five or six feet in length, its large, black, saucer- 
like eyes presenting an extraordinary spectacle. The fish paid 
no attention to the dinghy or to the figure of the man. 

It would come up to within four feet of the oar, then turn 
and sheer off, showing its silvery side, then going about on the 
opposite tack, disappearing a moment, to come up suddenly 
so near the oar as to almost touch it. It was a most fascinating 
spectacle ; next to seeiag a fourteen-foot hammer-head shark 
come up near my swinging legs as I sat, on one occasion, on a 
yacht's rail. As I looked, the fisherman silently dropped the 
oar, took the pole in both hands, and as the barracuda turned to 
the left, he threw the grains into it with such perfect effect that 
the handle bounded back, and I caught it as the great fish rushed 
away with aU the force of a shark, making the line hiss through 
his calloused hands. This fish towed the dinghy about and 
around, and made a most gaUant fight. 

It was a long time before I could make even a presentable 
imitation of this game, and I spent many an hour stabbing the 
water fruitlessly before I succeeded in hitting a barracuda, then 
was nearly jerked overboard in my excitement. This man did 
not always use the rag in gaining the barracuda, but could entice 
a fish within reach of his grains by the clever use of the scuUing 
oar, which was an imitation of the movements of a propeller. 

The very large barracudas were not common here, but they 
could be found when hunted for. At Long Key Camp up the 
reef, they are a common catch with rod and reel to-day, and few 
fishes make a better fight for liberty either on a number twenty- 
one line or spear. In appearance the barracuda looks the part of 



a sea pike. He has large knife-like teeth that suggest a shark ; 
and if the tales one hears are true, the barracuda is a dangerous 
fish. Jordan says : — ' It is as fierce as a shark, and is sometimes 
very dangerous to bathers.' I know of but one instance of an 
attack that I can credit. A Conch was nick-named ' Barracuda, 
as he had been badly wounded by one of these fishes. For 
several years, I and others, often three or four times a day, swam 
in a deep channel that was known to be infested with barracudas 
and sharks ; but we were never attacked. No one who has 
landed a barracuda and seen its pugnacious jaw, its large tusks 
and enormous mouth, but would hold it in respect. Among 
the upper Florida keys, the fish is generally taken troUing from 
a launch or row-boat, and is often found ia shallow water or 
along the passes or the edge of a channel, where from a row-boat 
it can be angled for with a live bait, mullet or some attractive 
silvery fish. 

There are several species of these fishes. That of California 
is very different in habit, running in schools often so thickly 
packed that in looking down upon them only black eyes and 
pointed noses are seen. The schools are of such vast size, that a 
few years ago the great bay of Santa Monica was apparently 
filled with them. At certain times the schools break up, and the 
fish are found near the rocks at Santa CataUna, singularly enough 
within a line cast of a large herd of sea-Uons. Here the barracuda 
is trolled for from launches with a nine-ounce rod and a number- 
nine line and sardine bait, or with a spoon. They rarely exceed 
five feet ia length and fifteen pounds in weight, while the Bahamian 
barracuda is six feet long and tips the scales at fifty or more 

It is said that to be a perfect game fish, both fighting and 
edible qualities are necessary. The barracudas meet both re- 
quisites, and if the angler will eat his five or six-pound barracuda, 
which he has taken at Long Key Camp with an eight-oimce fly 
rod, broiled at once, he will find it among the best edible fishes 
in Florida, The same is true of the CaUf omian fish. Few lovers 


of sea-food know what good fish is. On an ocean liner somewhere 
in mid-ocean, I was attracted by the word bluefish on the menu. 
It was, of course, cold storage fish and had lost its flavour entirely. 
On my last bluefish expedition, not a thousand miles from Fisher's 
Island, Long Island Sound, I was awakened in the morning by the 
jumping of bluefish in the box as the cook received them aUve 
from a fisherman who had caught them but a few moments before. 
They were broiled at once ; not an hour had passed since the bluefish 
was ahve and swimming, and it was a dish for the gods. Another 
fine game fish, the pollack, becomes so soft in a few hours, often 
minutes, that it is unfit for food, according to the ethics of the 
epicure. In Key West, and especially Cuba, One often hears that 
the barracuda is poisonous, but this is a tradition. One of my 
old fishing companions, a professional, insisted that all Cuban 
fish were poisonous on account of the copper in the water. 

The big barracuda is 8phyraena larracuda. It ranges from 
Brazil to the Bermudas. There are several species : one (8. ensis), 
in the Gulf of California, and off Panama ; another, about two 
feet in length, S. guachanche, is found with the big barracuda ; a 
small species is found about Cuba, the picadilla ; another still, 
8. horealis, ranges from Cape Fear to Cape Cod. The European 
species resemble the CaUfornian form very closely. 




' And, as he darts, the waters blue 
Are streaked with gleams of many a hue. 
Green, orange, purple and gold.' 

SOME fishes suggest calm and gentle waters, caves of the deep 
ever undistTirbed, where the kelp lazily sways to and fro in 
tideless seas, and the shades of carrageen scintillate in iridescent 
glories ; others again tell of fierce seas, of deep-blue waters, of 
rushing foam and spoondrift, of excitement and the quick high 
pulse. Here we find the bluefish, a dashing cavalier of the sea, 
to be found a mile or two off the surf in iN'ew England, while the 
striped-bass are brousing alongshore and rushing into the back 
water to seize luckless prey — crab, lobster, octopus, or any- 
thing else. The bluefish, channel-bass and striped-bass are the 
swaggering muskateers of the sea, and the bluefish is the piscatorial 
D'Artagnan, a born fighter, who fights and destroys for the very 
love of it. The late Professor Spencer F. Baird, said : ' There is no 
parallel in point of destructiveness to the bluefish among the 
marine species of our coast.' When the bluefish sweeps north 
out of the unknown and mysterious winter-land of many fishes, 
it is a marauding army, 

I once was trying to find a school of tuna off the Atlantic 
coast of America, near Boon Island Light, on the coast of 
Maine. My boatman fished for cod and halibut, and I with a rod 
for tuna, which never came. At times he would take cod and 
haddock as fast as he could haul them in ; but one day, in the 
very vortex of a fishing frenzy, when he bid fair to fill the boat, 


the fish stopped biting, and the hooks were taken. ' Dog-fish,' 
soliloquized the fisherman, and putting on new hooks with a wire 
leader or snood, he began to catch dog-fish or sharks, about two 
or three feet long, and in a short time nearly loaded the dory. 
They filled the water, and were starving. They had just arrived, 
and anything and everything was game. I saw them bite at oars, 
tear the canvas of a sail, try to eat jellyfish, and if a man had 
fallen overboard, and not been rescued at once, he would have 
been torn to pieces in a few moments by this ravenous band of 

Just as vicious, but not so powerful and cannibalistic, are the 
bluefishes. They leave a train of murder and sudden death in 
their trail, and in the words of Professor Goode, can be compared 
only to animated chopping machines. He estimates there were a 
few years ago a thousand million of them alongshore ; and if each 
bluefish ate ten small fish, a low estimate, the total consumption 
in a season would be ten thousand million a day. A fish with 
such an appetite could not fail to be a foeman weU deserving 
the attention of the angler ; and possibly no fish of its size, on 
the Atlantic coast, has given so many people so much sport. 
The bluefish attains a weight of ten or fifteen pounds, and is a 
cousin of the mackerels. As its name intimates, it has a rich 
cerulean tint above and silver below — a dazzling combination. 
It is generally taken from a fast sailing cat-boat by trolling with a 
heavy hand-line, a strong hook and almost anything for bait, a 
bone jig beiag effective. 

The bluefish swings along Uke a meteor and strikes the bait 
side on, nearly jerking the tyro out of the boat. At the signal 
the skipper pushes the helm hard-a-lee, and as the little craft 
comes up into the wind the angler has an opportunity to play the 
game, that always and invariably makes the fight of its life, and 
never knows that it is defeated until too late. Bluefish parties, 
a cat-boat filled with men, women and children, have been the 
vogue south of Cape Cod near Block Island, Martha's Vineyard, 
Wood's Hole, Nantucket and other localities from time im- 



memorial. The fmi or sport becomes fast and furiotis in a stiff 
wind, with the white caps flowing. 

Some years ago, I endeaToured to introduce rod fishing for 
bluefish at the entrance of Long Island Sound ; the experiment, 
while successful, was very fatal to tips and lines. The skipper 
in the majority of instances could not get the boat up into the 
wind quick enough to save the Une. Eod fishing for bluefish 
has, however, been followed at Newport and other localities ; and 
I have fished for them along the Jersey shore in the surf after the 
fashion of channel-bass fishing. This method is also followed 
at Montauk, l^ewport, Barnegat, Monomoy, and other localities. 

The bluefish is a game fish in appearance, long, well-pro- 
portioned, with a powerful tail, a soM powerful head, eyes 
striking, alert ; you could teU at a glance that here is game of the 
very best quality. To science the bluefish is Pomatomus saltatrix, 
a name given by Linnaeus. The Yankee of the old time was 
fond of boasting, and in the West there is still among other 
offenders, the word ' booster.'' Every booster is supposed to 
claim that his town is the best, offensive to some, laughable 
to others. If a booster was to describe the American bluefish 
he would do it in this way : ' The bluefish can jump higher, 
come down quicker, dive deeper, and stay under longer, eat more 
in less time than any fish on the globe.' Along the Jersey coast 
the bluefish weighs five or six pounds ; in Florida waters from 
three to six, and sometimes fifteen poimds. His cousins are 
found in many seas, and he is a wide roamer. Tou may, if you 
are lucky, take the bluefish in the Mediterranean Sea, the Malay 
country, in Australian waters under another name, at Natal, the 
Cape of Good Hope, and off Madagasgar. Strange to say, so far 
as I know, it has never had the curiosity to foUow up the Gulf 
Stream to Ballycotton, and afford the gallant anglers of the 
British Sea Anglers a taste of its metal. In a word, it is not known 
in the European Atlantic, nor does it visit Bermuda. If there 
is a caprice the bluefish is not guilty of, fishermen have not dis- 
covered it. It can never be depended upon to follow any very 


definite r61e ; but it is to-day the best sea fish on the American 
coast of North America, and when broiled half an hour from the 
sea, a gift from the gods. 

The striped-bass (Boccus lineatus) ranges from Labrador to 
the delta of the Mississippi, and on the Pacific coast from the 
Oregon Une indefinitely north and south, though rarely to Santa 
Catahna, a number of specimens having been taken in Alanaitos 
Bay, Los Angeles County. It ascends the rivers to spawn, and 
is found in the Potomac as far as Little FaUs, where I have 
fished for it ; is taken up the Hudson beyond Albany and very 
common at FishkUl, where I have seen fishes of the largest size 
taken through the ice in February. In the Connecticut, it reaches 
Hartford, and anglers on the St. Lawrence have taken specimens 
as far up as Quebec ; doubtless, it goes far beyond. Strange to 
say, it is not a migratory fish, being found at any time, winter or 
summer, in the regions of its choice. This, and the fact that it 
bites readily, and is easily taken in nets through the ice and in 
other ways, and at any time, explains its'disappearanee in many 
regions, where it was once a prominent figure and a dominant 

Like many fishes of wide range, the striped-bass passes under 
many pseudonyms. Striped-bass is the name north of the 
Delaware, but south of that point it is known as the rock-fish. 
Under any name, it is equally a gallant and hard fighter, and a 
most beautiful fish never to be mistaken or confused with anything 
else. The general tone is olivaceous ; the back may have a 
bluish tint, the sides newly minted silver grading into the purest 
colonial, or flake white, on the slightly pendulous belly. Along 
the sides from head to tail, are six or eight rows of closely con- 
nected spots which form stripes, and lower down three smaller 
ones, so that the effect on the eye is of a splendid, indeed, dazzling 
silver fish with pronounced stripes. Its head is large, even 
ponderous ; its mouth capacious, that of an omnivorous feeder y 
the eye large and well-proportioned. 

This bass spawns in the spring — ^May, or sometimes in April— 

i6 241 


depositing its million or more eggs in fresh or partly fresh water ; 
evidently being able to adapt itself to salt or fresh water, going 
up large rivers in vast schools, apparently following the shad, 
smelt or other fishes. AH summer it may be found ia the ocean, 
and here it attains its most splendid development, five feet or 
more in length, and a weight of one hundred or more pounds. 
On the appearance of winter, it approaches the bayous, back 
waters and tidal rivers ; and as I have said, can be taken through 
the ice at FishMU and higher up, the water of the Hudson being 
salt or very brackish here. 

A peculiarity of the striped-bass is that it is caught under so 
many conditions. You may fish for it in the heaviest surf, or 
in quiet bays, in the mouth of rivers, off rocky points where the 
sea comes in with a sullen roar and leaps high in air, in brackish, 
seemingly impossible waters ; on mud flats, as at the mouth of 
the Sacramento, and again near sod-banks — ^a habit of certain 
rainbow trout when they can find them. AH this requires 
different tackle at different times, and the bait the bass will 
take is legion. The largest fish are taken in salt water ; but the 
habitu^ of the inland water rarely runs over ten or twelve pounds 
and can be taken on an eight-ounce rod and a nine-line. 

In 1868 I found occasionally good striped-bass fishing at Old 
Point Comfort, and especially off the Eip Eaps, the fish entering 
the Chesapeake, the Potomac and other rivers, finding abundant 
food in the swarm of crabs which in the spring and summer 
covered the bottom and became ' shedders ' on the flats of 
Hampton and Ifewport ITews. One of the delightful features 
of the striped-bass is the fact that it will, when yoimg and found 
far up the fresh water streams, take a fly : a Eoyal Coachman, 
Ibis, St. Patrick, and Alexandra. On a black-bass rod the fish 
will be a revelation to the angler. 

The striped-bass was formerly taken in great numbers on 
the coast of Massachusetts south of Cape Cod, where on Pasque 
Island, not far from New Bedford, one of the notable fishing 
clubs of America has its grounds ; but there has been a great 


falling off in numbers, so far as the angler is concerned. 
Fortunately it was introduced into the mouth of the Sacramento 
some years ago, and has increased in numbers until it has become 
one of the game and food fishes of the Cahfornian coast. The 
striped-bass is found in fair numbers south of New York, and 
is a favourite fish with the members of the Asbury Park Fishing 
Gub, who in 1912 took seventy-nine striped-bass, ranging from 
thirty-eight pounds down. Many were taken at ni^t. 

The striped-bass attains a weight of from fifty to seventy 
pounds. I have seen fishes of the largest size taken through 
the ice of the Hudson in mid- winter. In the Atlantic, it is found 
on rocky shores, and at the clubs of New England, piers were 
built out over the water from the rocks which were drawn for by 
the club members. Seated here, with the gaffer on the rocks 
below, the angler cast out beyond the breaking waves, using rod 
and reel and half of a lobster's tail as bait. When the strike 
came the battle was on, and amid the flying spume, in deep blue 
water, it was a gallant game played between angler and fish. 

To-day, the best striped-bass angling on the Pacific slope of 
America is found on the flats at the mouth of the Sacramento 
Eiver, above San Francisco. It is interesting to note that the 
striped-bass has migrated five hundred miles down the coast, 
specimens having been taken as far south as Santa Catalina 
Island. The bass requires a river of size, as it is a denizen of 
both fresh and salt water ; and whether it will use the small rivers 
of Southern California is a problem unsolved. 

In nearly all countries prototypes of fishes can be found, and 
in America the striped-bass well represents the ' bass ' about 
which the great English authorities on angUng, Mr. Aflalo and 
Mr. Clark, are so enthusiastic. The following are some of the 
striped-bass records of the Asbury Park Club compiled by Mr. 
Streeter. The fishes were taken with rod and reel in the surf at 
Asbury Park and vicinity by casting from the beach or from 
piers and stands built out into the surf : 













lb. oz. 

lb. oz. 


47 9 


8 12 








46 4 


10 11 








27 8 


11 8 








31 4 











10 12 







41 12 










41 4 


7 7 








29 8 


6 8 







Highly" appreciated as a game fish is the channel-bass, found 
up and down the Atlantic coast for long distances. I have had 
fine sport with this fish in the mouth of the St. John's Eiver, 
Florida, in the St. Mary's between the States of Georgia and 
Florida, and in the pools or holes of the great lagoon within Aransas 
Pass, near Port Aransas, Texas. Here I fished with a light rod 
with shrimp bait, and it was often taken in such shallow water as 
to seem impossible. The channel-bass has a clever iand alluring 
set of names, as the red drum, spot, red-fish, pescado, Colorado, 
bull red-fish, sea-trout. I have fished for it from 'Sew York to 
Mexico, and it changes its name as you go south. There is but 
one species, the eyed-bass {8ciaenops ocellatus), a very attractive 
fish with a black oval spot, a domino spot at the base of the upper 
lobe of its tail, by which you may always know it. It combines 
aU the qualifications of a game fish ; is a hard desperate fighter 
on the rod, and a most abundant and excellent table fish when 
young. It is an attractive fish, Uke the striped-bass, which is 
white with vivid black longitudinal stripes, and has a grayish 
silver tint with a wash of rich coppery-red. It is taken in various 
ways, one of the most interesting of which is to cast into and 
beyond the surf, using clam or fish bait on the bottom. But I 
have had excellent sport in exactly the reverse; fishing with 
mullet bait at low tide in the mouth of the St. John's Eiver, 


where the current was so swift that it kept my bait at the surface. 
I spent two months once fishing at this point, where the sharks 
are fed with shad, and a variety of game dispels the monotony 
of sand dunes that, if left alone, soon efface the works of man. 

While the channel-bass is taken all along the shore, the best 
ground for it is in the region along the New Jersey seaboard 
affected by the members of the Asbury Park Eishing Club. 
At certain seasons, the members can count on the arrival of the 
fishes almost to a day. Some idea of the size of the rod and reel 
catches of New Jersey can be had from the following tables : 

Channel- Bass Record, ^eptembeb, 1912. 

Barnegat City and Vicinity. 

12. H. W. Gilbert . 

13. Hoffman Allen . 

13. H. C. Rydell . . 

14. H. C. RydeU . . 
14. C. W. Feigenspan 
14. C. W. Feigenspan 

16. W. N. Applegate 

17. Hoffman Allen . 
17. G. W. Fenimore . 
17. T. K. Skidmore 
17. A. F. Edgecomb 

17. M. F. Stealton . 

18. F. Kimbacker 
18. A. V. Freeman . 
18. M. F. Stealton . 

13. J. J. Yates . . 
13. J. J. Yates . . 
19. W. N. Applegate 
19. A. Allen, Jr. . . 
19. L. J. Brown . . 
19. L. J. Brown . . 



. 27 


. 29 

. 20 

. 30 

. 32 

. 22 

. 24 

. 20 

. 24 

. 28 

. 28 


. 30 


. 24 

. 34 

. 29 


18. R. Wiechert 
18. F. H. Skidmore 

21. Edw. Cramer 

22. Robt. A. Tuch 
24. W. Conklin . 
24. A. V. Freeman 
24. Fred Miller . 
24. Albert Alohes. 
24. Albert Alcbes. 

24. G. Hatfield . 

25. G. Hatfield . 
25. J. M. Gentle 
25. W. Hencken . 
25. P. L. Evans . 

Seaside Park. 

lb. oz. 






Mrs. Stewart . 

. 23 




Jack Clayton 

. 26 





Jos. G. Skirm 

. 28 





J. J. Yates . . 

. 25 




J. J. Skirm . . 

. 23 




V. de Wysocki . 

. 30 

When hooked in the surf this bass affords a splendid fight, 



often taking the angler a half mile up the beach, and in and out 
before it can be mastered. I once worked nearly an hour^mth a 
fish on the St. John's and had it within thirty feet of where I was 
standing, waist-deep in water, when one of the largest sharks I 
have ever seen bit the bass in two, leaving me the head which 
told the story of a forty pounder ; at least there was no one to 
dispute it, and I did not lose any time in getting ashore. The 
beach or surf angler often sees the game he is playing out-lined 
on the face of a comber — a splendid spectacle. 

The tackle in vogue is a good sixteen — or over — ounce rod, nine 
hundred or one thousand feet of No. 21 line, and a 7/° hook, a two- 
or three-foot leader. A four-oimce sinker is generally used ; 
and if you wish to appeal to the channel-bass, use ' shedder 
crabs,' though ' moss bunker ' is an excellent substitute. The 
angler should use the rod belt described. One of, if not the 
largest channel-bass was taken by Mi. J. Cowthorn at Corson's 
Inlet, New Jersey, the fish weighing sixty-three pounds. 

The famous fishing points are Corson's Inlet and the water 
from Bamegat City to Seaside Park. After November the bass 
are on their way to Florida, where the sport may be taken up 
on the Indian Eiver or in the Gulf. 

The record fish of the Field and Stream Tournament for 
1912 were : 1st prize, by Eobert E. Bridges, Wilhamston, 
N. C, U. S. A., weight forty-four pounds, length forty-five and one- 
half inches, taken at Topsail Inlet, North Carolina, mullet bait. 
The second-prize fish weighed forty-two pounds, and the third, 
thirty-nine pounds. 

Some idea of the size of the channel-bass taken along the 
Atlantic Coast can be had from the following tables of records of 
the Asbury Park, New Jersey, Fishing Club. The fishes were 
taken in the surf with rod and reel at Barnegat City (Bamegat 
Inlet) and Harvey Cedars, in the months of June and Septem- 
ber. I am indebted to E. H. Norris, Secretary of the Club, 
and to Mr. L. P. Streeter of Chicago and the Tuna Club, for the 
interesting and valuable data. 











1897 . . 










































































' Toward the sea turning my troubled eye 
I saw the fish (if fish I may it cleepe), 
That makes the sea before his face to flye, 
And with his fiaggie fins doth seeme to sweepe 
The foamie waves out of the dreadful deep.' 

Edmund Spencer, The Visions of the World, 1591. 

AMONG the angling experiences which have made the greatest 
impression upon me is my attempt to photograph a tarpon. 
It appeared to be a very simple operation when studjdng the 
beautiful photographs taken by Dimock and others, but possibly 
these are taken when the tarpon is held on a short hand-hue not 
far from the boat, and given no chance, while the photographer 
sits in another boat directly opposite, and snaps the agile silver 
Mug as he goes, mad and terrified, into the air. I have a photo- 
graph, taken, I fancy, in this manner, in which the tarpon's 
mouth and gills are open so wide that I can see the coimtry 
through them, 

I tried none of this ; expert photography is too much for me, 
the subjects in all my pictures are without feet or heads, or have 
a dazed appearance, so I generally employ a professional. But 
this time I attempted to photograph my own tarpon. 

It was at Tarpon, Port Aransas, Texas, before the days of the 
Tarpon Club, which made me an honorary member, I think, 
for my sMIl in photographing clouds. I fished this pass in 
August, the best season, when the water was aJive at times with 
tarpon rolling over and puffing at the surface. My boatman 
was Mateo Brugen, an Austrian, a character who had decided ideas 


about taking a one hundred and fifty-pound tarpon into a one 
hundred and twenty-five-pound skiff, which he exhibited in 
strong language. On this occasion I explained to Mateo that 
I had two objects in fishing at Tarpon and crossing the hottest 
part of the United States for three thousand miles. One was to 
demonstrate that I could take a tarpon with a ten- or twelve-foot 
rod, which I had had made for the purpose, and which weighed 
without the butt about ten ounces. Another was to photograph 
my tarpon in the air. 

To accomplish the latter I had several private rehearsals with 
Mateo. I explained that I would hold my kodak between my 
knees as I fished, facing the stern, and when the tarpon had 
climbed into the empyrean to a sufficient altitude, I would 
thrust the butt of my rod backward to him under my left arm (as 
he was sitting directly behind me), then seize the camera and snap 
the fish. This appeared on the surface to be a very simple proceed- 
ing, and everything in order, we pulled down the narrow pass 
along the stone jetty. 

The tarpon angling in Texas or the west side of the Gulf of 
Mexico, is all done in the passes. The coast is low and has, 
extending alongshore for many miles, an inland sea or lake or 
river, formed by an offshore narrow island of sand, from one to 
twenty feet in height. In some instances these islands are very 
large, and many miles in length ; again they are very low, and 
are flooded in gales. The inland sea or river is from three to 
five miles wide, and to reach Tarpon and the Tarpon Club one 
sails down this river from the little town of Eockport ten or 
fifteen nules. This inland sea finds its way to the Gulf at ebb 
tide through certain narrow openings, and the one I was fishing 
is known as Aransas Pass, the little town of Tarpon or Port 
Aransas being directly on it. The prevailing wind in summer 
appears to be from the southeast or directly into the pass, and 
when the tide is running out, it works up a heavy roll, but is not 
dangerous ; in fact it adds to the exhilaration when one is 
playing a tarpon in the air. 



We had rowed possibly a half mile when I had a strike, a 
sudden steady pull. I slacked away, remembering the hard jaw 
of the fish, then struck home. Up into the air, not fifteen feet 
from me, went a great silvery mass, scintillating and glistening 
in the sunlight like molten silver. Mateo, taking no chances, had 
pulled the skiff around with a jerk at the oar, so that I first saw 
the fish directly in front of me hitting the air like a steel spring ; 
then I certainly saw it over my right shoidder six feet up, and 
then it came down to go up again and deluge us with spray. 

' He look pleasant all right,' whispered Mateo, wiping the 
spray from his face and handing me my sombrero. ' Why didn't 
you tak eem ? ' 

I had forgotten aU about the camera, and my fish was making a 
series of leaps across the pass, while the camera had rolled into the 
bottom of the boat where it went off in disgust, taking a picture 
of Mateo's bare legs under the seat. I soon had the ' Yucatan 
bounder,' as Mateo christened the fish, stopped, though it took 
two hundred feet of line, and up into the air it went, slamming 
that awful tail at its open mouth just as you have seen a crocodile 
or aUigator attempt to toss its game between its jaws. Several 
men have been killed with this terrible tail of the tarpon, and I 
can well imagine how it can be done, as the scales are as hard as 
steel. Mateo backed after the fish, which was now headed for 
the heavy surf near the wreck of an old steamer, where later 
my friend Streeter was carried and capsized but landed his fish 
after a gallant struggle. 

There were big sharks here, for which Mateo and I had a hearty 
respect, so I stopped the run and held hard with my thumb on 
the pad while Mateo pulled. This checked the fish, which turned 
and swung around in the great arc of a circle, leaping in splendid 
fashion, flashing in the sunlight, a most exhilarating spectacle. 
It soon had us in the surf on the opposite side of the jetty, aaid 
it took another half hour with my long rod to bring it back into 
the channel. Here it sulked, broke away, went into the air, 
dashed under the boat and forced my boatman to whirl about 


ou a pivot ; then, about three quarters of an hour after the 
strike, I brought the silver king to the side of the boat. I called 
for the gaff. Mateo looked aghast at the big rollers which 
threatened to stand us on end. Mateo was game, but he hesitated, 
and the gaffer who hesitates is generally lost. 

' Gaff him, quick ! ' I shouted, holding the six-foot fighting- 
mad mass of animation with great difficulty, as it displayed an 
evident desire to come aboard. 

Mateo hesitated a second. I fancy he was putting up a 
prayer, as I learned later that here no one took their fish into boats ; 
they beached them — the proper thing to do. But I was taking no 
chances in a mile-pull, as I did later when I broke my long rod. So 
Mateo gaffed the tarpon and slid it into the boat. I have heard of 
' ground and lofty tumbling ' at the circus, and am sure that the 
dozen or more tarpon anglers about us enjoyed this short impro- 
vised act. Mateo gripped my tarpon, as he evidently was obliged 
to do or be MUed, and the two fell down into the bottom of the 
boat, while I dodged the flying tail and sweeping muzzle, oars and 
other articles which appeared to go up into the air Uke a fountain 
of solids to the tune of spartan oaths. That we did not go over- 
board in the mgl^e was a miracle ; but Mateo managed to put 
his knife into the gills of the game while sitting on it, and rose, 
covered with gore, but triumphant. 

I should explain that I was anxious to secure this tarpon as it 
was just the right size for my study, and I have it hung at about 
the height I think I saw it jump. I can always laugh when I look 
at it, recalling how it threw us into the air with oars, gaffs, bailers, 
mullet box, tackle, lunch, camera, everything. I can also 
remember Mateo as a good boatman, with an extraordinary 
vocabulary ; at least we got the game. Every day we fished, but 
I held the fish and Mateo towed us to the beach. In one of 
these expeditions the fish made a sudden rush and broke my 
special rod. 

Tarpon angling in America is, at least in Florida, practised in 
early spring, as the weather is uncomfortably warm after May or 



June. But at Aransas Pass I fished in August and found the 
fishing grounds in the pass very comfortable and Tarpon Inn, 
the only one, a hospitable place frequented by anglers from all 
over the world. I had very good luck at Aransas, which is not 
far from Gralveston, a fine locality for angling. The tarpon, 
or silver king, makes its winter home on the Mexican coast at 
Tampico, where, in the Panuco river, the finest sport can be had 
with this big fish in January, February and March. In the 
spring the fish migrates, moves north in great schools, follow- 
ing, as a rule, the coast Une, entering all the passes, doubtless, 
up to New Orleans. Another migration, much smaller, goes 
directly across the gulf to Oaba, and so on to the Florida Keys 
and up the coast. But the islands, as Garden Key, sixty miles 
west of Key West, where I fished many years, do not get many 
tarpons ; in fact they are, or at least in my day were, rare. By 
March or April the fish have reached the mainland coast of Florida 
and afford sport to anglers from aU over the world at Palma 
Sola, Long Key Camp, Miami, Boca Grande, Indian Eiver Inlet, 
Charlott Harbour Fort Meyers, up the Caloosa Eiver, Captiva and 
other places. The tarpon travels far. I have seen specimens 
taken in a net off Coney Island, N, Y., in July. It enters the 
St. John's river, but I never landed one there. A large tarpon 
leaped aboard a steamer in 1875. 

At Aransas aU the fish are taken trolling with muUet bait 
which is caught by the men with a cast-net. The rods used were 
six or seven feet in length, sixteen or more ounces, of noibwood, 
greenheart or split bamboo, the typical tuna rod of to-day. The 
line was anything from a number twenty-one up, with a 
breaking strength of forty-two or more pounds ; that is, a twenty- 
one line would hft a dead weight of forty-two pounds. 

When I returned to California and related my adventures at 
the Tuna Club several of the members decided to make the trip, 
among them Mr. L. P. Streeter of the Illinois Central E.E. Mr. 
Streeter is a veteran angler, having caught everything that can 
be caught in America, and he proposed to go to Aransas and take 


a tarpon ynth the Tuna Club nine-ounce rod and nine-thread line, 
the latter having a breaking strength of eighteen pounds. This 
was believed impossible by many, though not by me. 

Mr. Streeter's appearance at Aransas Pass was heralded 
with some good-natured joking at his having come from the Tuna 
Club of California to tell old tarpon fighters how to fish. But 
Mr. Streeter wore the coveted blue button of the club which told 
that he was one of about sixty men up to that time who had 
taken a one hundred-pound tuna with rod and reel, and the tuna 
was, unquestionably, the hardest fish in the world to catch. I 
am indebted to Mr. F. L. Harding of Philadelphia for a copy 
of a letter from Mr. Streeter in which his experience is briefly told. 
The letter originally appeared in the Forest and Stream of Isfew 
York, and is most interesting angling history, as it marks a 
revolution in tarpon fishing : 

' I now have for you news of real interest. Yesterday, June 25, the 
sea calmed down somewhat and I determined to try the experiment of 
landing a tarpon on nine-ounce rod and nine-thread Une. I lost the first 
fish on the jump. The second I hooked better ; he carried our skiff across 
the Pass (Aransas), then out over the South Shoals. Our craft almost filled 
with water and it was found necessary to beach her. Then I fought the 
fish at a distance of over eight-hundred feet away out on the outer 
breakers. My line parted. The time of the strike to losing the fish was 
fifty minutes. 

' After resting a half an hour, we returned to the jetty, put out in 
another boat and ere long were hooked up to another tarpon. I managed 
to keep this fish away from the South Shoals. He made jump after jump 
in rapid succession, but by careful work I managed to work him over to 
the beach. But here a new difi&culty awaited us : he refused to enter 
shoal water. We had no gaff, but I whipped a large shark hook (or rather 
instructed the boatman to do it) upon a spare tip, thus improvising a light 
gaff. Forty-five minutes after hooking I had a magnificent fish five feet 
nine inches in length gUstening in the sunhght at the boatside. The rod 
was an ironwood of standard nine-ounce weight and nine-strand line. 

' I attach great credit to my guide, Samuel T. Bromley, few if any, 
would have stood by me under such strenuous conditions. 

' Last evening a few of the gentlemen present organized the Aransas 
Pass Tarpon Club. To qualify, members must catch unaided a tarpon 
not less than four feet six inches in length on nine-ounce rod and nine- 



thread line. The following officers were elected : President, L. P. Streeter ; 
first Vice-President, W. B. Leach, of Palestine, Texas ; second Vice- 
President, A. W. Hooper, Boston, Mass. ; Hon. Secretary, J. E. CJotter, 
Tarpon ; Corresponding Secretary, J. E. Pfleuger, Akron, Ohio. These 
gentlemen with L. G. Murphy, of Cionverse, Ind., and S. C. Smith, of 
Long Beach, Cal., form the Board of Directors. The others have yet to 
qualify, and I have no doubt wiU at an early date. Dr. Charles F. 
Holder was made honorary member. Says Mr. Harding : ' This is 
making history. No one familiar with sea fishing can fail to assent that 
nothing in recent years has been so revolutionary. The sixty-five pound 
tuna caught at Avalon on light tackle is not to be compared with it. Mr. 
Streeter will have national congratulations upon so astoundiag a feat.' 

This was in 1907, and the Tarpon Club, organized by Mr. 
Streeter on the heels of his catch (as the Tuna Club was organized 
by the author the day following his catch of a one hundred and 
eighty-three pound tuna) entirely revolutionized tarpon fish- 
ing. The club accepted the standard of the Tuna Club, and 
used light tackle for which, and to encourage a high standard of 
sport and fair play to the fish, prizes of value were offered. The 
donors were L. P. Streeter, A. W. Hooper, Will H. Dileg, W. E. 
Jones, L. G. Murphy, J. E. Cotter, F. C. Boschen, and others. 

The increase in light tackle catches is well shown in the 
following, for which I am indebted to Mr. J. E. Cotter, Hon. 
Secretary of the Tarpon Club at Port Aransas : 

Comparison of Season's Catches on Nine-Ounce Rods, Nine Line. 
1907. — 16 Tarpon, comprising 1-2% of total catch on rod and reel. 
1908. — 35 Tarpon, comprising 6-0% of total catch on rod and reel. 
1909. — 297 Tarpon, comprising 41-1% of total catch on rod and reel. 
1910. — 397 Tarpon, comprising 494% of total <!atch on rod and reel. 
1911. — 473 Tarpon, comprising 65-8% of total catch on rod and reel. 

Holders of Season's Records. 

1907. — L. P. Streeter, Pasadena, Cal. 
1908.— A. W. Hooper, Boston, Mass. 
1909. — L. G. Murphy, Converse, Ind. 
1910. — ^A. W. Hooper, Boston, Mass. 
1911. — ^Mark Sarazan . 


of Fish 














All anglers, whether lake, river or sea, will see the point in 
this estimate. It means that the catch and waste or injury of 
fish is reduced to the minimum and that the sport is enhanced 
and elevated to a science. 

As a spectacular catch with rod and reel, the tarpon ranks 
next to the Santa CataUna swordfish, which outjumps it ten to 
one ; but the big tarpon and the biggest swordfishes are poor 
jumpers. The record for number of tarpon in a day is held by 
Mr. L. G. Murphy, of the Tuna Club, who has taken twenty-five. 
The world-record fish for weight in Florida was taken by Mr. 
George, two hundred and thirteen pounds. The sensation of the 
angler when the tarpon of best condition goes into the air can 
hardly be described. Few men can view it or experience it with- 
out a sense of exhilaration, and I have seen a strong man 
utterly undone and panic-stricken by the action of a fish seemingly 
over his head. 

The tarpon angler now has three distinct places to fish : Florida 
in the early spring ; Tampico in the winter ; Aransas Pass 
in summer ; and Florida is by no means impossible in summer. 
Being nearer, Florida has been a favourite for British sea-anglers, 
and many have made fine catches here, notably Lord Desborough, 
Mr. and Mrs. Turner, and Mr. F. G. Aflalo, the founder of the 
British Sea Anglers Society and author of many classics on 
angling aU over the world. Mr. Aflalo made his headquarters at 
TJseppa Island. The season during his visit began here April 
21, and ended May 19, during which six anglers took one hundred 
and twelve tarpon, thirty-three of which were over one hundred 
pounds. In 1903 the catch was three hundred and thirty. Mr. 
Aflalo's catch was : 

April 30 . . 

85 pounds. 

May 4 . . 

47 pounds 

May 3 . . 

. 108 

„ 5 . . 

• • 40 „ 

J5 ;j • • 

. 108 

)) 5J ■ • 

. . 18 

„ 4. . 

■ 86 

„ 7 . . 

. . 38 

)5 3> • • 

. 86 

,, 9 . . 

. . 110 

)> ?) ■ • 

. 68 

„ 15 . . 

• • 117 



May 15 ... . 70 pounds. May 15 ... . 80 pounds. 
„,,.... 60 ,, ,,„.... 80 „ 

IdO fi7 

This is eighteen tarpon in about two weeks. If there is any 
difference between the tarpon of Texas and those of Florida I 
imagine the Texan fishes average larger. The season in Texas 
is a long one, including spring, summer and autumn, and one can 
find tarpon fishing at some locality in Florida all summer; 
especially at Long Key, on the new railway, the fishing is excellent. 

The fish and the sport are interesting for various reasons. It 
is a giant herring and looks the part, its extraordinary jaw ^ving 
it a cynical appearance, while its eyes are so near the end of the 
muzzle and the top of the head that one doubts its intelligence. 
Its wonderful investment of big silver scales are a most attractive 
feature. They are three inches across in the six and seven-foot 
tarpon, so like molten silver dollars that when I landed a big 
fellow, I had some of the scales pressed flat and dried, wrote the 
weight and length of the fish on them, added a stamp and sent 
them to friends all over the country as post-cards. 

The rules of tarpon fishing are extremely pliable, and you may 
fish for it in various ways. I used a Vom Hofe reel (costing fifty 
dollars) and capable of holding six hundred feet of line (valued at 
three dollars). This reel had a single brake to prevent over- 
running, and a leather pad to press on the line with the thumb ; 
so I caught the fish with my thumb. I took all my tuna years ago 
in this manner, and it was painless, as at the end of three or four 
hours the thumb had no feeling. At that time we believed in 
fighting the fish and pulling against it. Now the Vom Hofe reel 
is a masterpiece with several patent brakes, and has reduced 
tarpon fishing to a gentle art for game of all kinds, as one can 
adjust the reel to any tension, and the game once hooked is sure 
to wear out first. 

In the discussions the angler will hear much about this and 
that hook and a variety of opinions. I used a 10/°. O'Shaugh- 
nessey, with a piano-wire leader, longer than the fish, and when I 


did not, I doubled the line for six feet as it is liable to chafe off. 
The leader, to my mind, should have several swivels, and a short 
chain at the hook is a clever idea, as when the tarpon is in the air, 
thrashing from side to side, endeavouring to throw the hook at 
you, the wire is apt to Mnk, which is in the nature of a tragedy^ 
Before going tarpon fishing the angler should consult some 
first-class dealer, as Edwin Vom Hofe, Abbey & Imbrie, or 
Mills & Co., New York, who rank with Hardy, Farland, Milward, 
and others in England. One can fish by day or by night, but 
the latter is a dangerous pastime, as the fish of the man ahead is- 
liable to land in your skiff and throw you out, which has occurred 
in the day-time. I have seen tarpon jump on the Florida 
reef at night, turning the sea into a maelstrom of blazing Kght, due 
to phosphorescence. I have caught them with live mullet, with, 
very ancient mullet, and on one occasion was tempted to seize 
one in my hands as I crept up within two feet of where it was 
lying perfectly qiuet on the surface. 

The tarpon has been taken with a spoon, and on the bottom 
Adth bait, but troUing would appear to be the method best adapted 
to so large a fish, when it is necessary to have the boat free on tha 

There is much mystery about the young of the tarpon. For 
years no one had seen a small one ; finally one was reported from 
Porto Eico. But the life history of the tarpon is yet to be^ 
written. This is true of many fishes. The young seemingly 
disappear at once, only the adults being known. 

Tarpon fishing in Florida and Texas lacks, in a sense, the 
charm of reaUy beautiful surroundings, though to me there 
is a certain fascination about both localities. In Texas I often 
wandered about at night and skirted the great sand-dunes with 
the coastguard. The wind was always blowing from the same 
direction, and as far as the eye could reach down the coast 
toward Mexico there was a mass of silvery light, a weird, uncanny- 
phosphorescence. The roar of the waves was a deep and solemn 
requiem, adding to the weirdness. In the moonlight I could. 

17 257 


■see countless spirit-crabs scurrying along, and everywhere the 
sand was moviag noiselessly up into the lair of the dunes 
which took on strange shapes and forms. Along the shore where 
the moonbeams played was a dark undulating hne of algae, 
richly coloured sea-fans, gorgonias, shells of many sorts, and the 
filmy satin-Uke shapes of the fairy PhysaUa or Portuguese man- 
of-war. Mingled with all these were countless bits of sponge- 
Uke pumice thrown up by Mont Pel^e at the destruction of 

Offshore, countless tarpon lay, and prowling about the schools 
"were big sharks, the only living creatures that will eat tarpon or 
<;an capture one. 

In Florida the conditions differ. The tarpon is still found in 
passes, but there are islands covered with thick luxuriant verdure, 
the mangrove and palm. There are countless strange and 
beautiful birds, and an abundance of animal life. But, after 
all, the angler who is really after tarpon has no time to indulge 
in rapsodies on scenery ; the fine fish will keep him sufficiently 

The following lists compiled for me by Mr. L. P. Streeter will 
give some idea of the tarpon angling at Useppa Island : 

UsEPPA Island (Fla.) Tabpon Rbcokd. 

Condensed Statistics from Official List of Rod and Seel Catches by gv,esta 

of Useppa Inn. 

Season of 1902. Prom March 30 to May 30 inclusive. 

Number caught . . . . . . 183 

Number rods to above catch ... 24 

Total weight do. .... 12,138-5 pounds 

Average „ ,,.,.. 66-3 ,, 

Largest ....*.. 178 „ 

Smallest 30 „ 

Season of 1903. Prom March 5 to May 31 inclusive. 

Number caught ...... 338 

Number rods to above catch ... 43 

Total weight do. ... 31,263-5 pounds 

Average „ „ . . . . 92-5 „ 

Largest 177 „ 

Smallest ....... 9 „ 



Season 1904. IVom March 16 to April 21 inclusive 

Number caught 

Number rods to above catch 

Total weight do. 

Average „ „ 

Largest .... 

Smallest .... 
Season of 1905. 

No record as hotel was not in operation. 
Season of 1906. From April 21 to May 20 inclusive 

Number caught 

Number rods to above catch 

Total weight do. 

Average „ 

Largest .... 

Smallest .... 
Season of 1907. From March 17 to May 

Number caught 

Number rods to above catch 

Total weight do. 

Average „ 

Largest .... 

Smallest .... 

8 inclusive 































I am indebted to Mr. J. E. Cotter, Honorary Secretary of the 
Tarpon Club, Port Aransas, Texas, formerly Tarpon, for this 
data relating to their annual catches : 














ft. in. 
7 7J 
7 10 
7 1 
7 3J 

185 up 

to Jul 














Mr. A. W. Hooper of Boston at this date had taken thirty- 
five tarpon ; Mr. L. G. Mnrphy sixteen. 

Mr. Alfred Beebe, a valued member of the Tuna Club, has 



made a study of angling problems in America, and his data 
relating to personal experience with tarpon at Aransas Pass, is of 
value and interest. It is as follows : 

Aeansas Pass, Texas. 

[Tip of rod, 6 oz. ; length, 5 ft. 

Time—S\me, 1909. 

Tackle \ Butt, 14 iaches. 

\Line — Standard 9 thread linen. 

General Data. 

Days of actual fishing . . 


No. of strikes from tarpon . 


Of these, hooked and played 


„ brought to gaff . 


Tarpon strikes, per day . 


„ hooked and played, 

per day . 


„ brought to gaff, per 

day .... 


Tarpon Hooked, Played and Lost. 

Hook thrown out by jumping 

„ pulled out later . 
Tom off by sharks . 
Leader (piano-wire) parted 
lane parted .... 
Broke away in gafSng . 


Gold Button fish (5 ft. 6 in. or 
more) hooked, played and lost 10 

Note. — A Tarpon is counted as sl/ruck, only when seen (by a jump) ; as 
hooked, only when fast for 2 jumps or more. 

Tarpon brought to Gaff. 







ft. in. 


ft. in. 





4 8 


Silver button fish 

4 4 



5 Oi 



4 4 



5 2 



4 6 


Silver button fish 

5 3 



4 6 



5 4i 



4 8 



5 7 


Gold button fish 

Note. — Those tarpon landed in very short time (five minutes or leas 
completely exhausted themselves by a rapid series of high jumps. 



The following list will afford some idea of the tarpon angling 
at Tampico. The fishes are taken with rod and reel in the 
Panuco Eiver. The best season at Tampico is that comprising 
the months of January, February and March. The torrential 
rains of summer make the water muddy, but by October it 
begins to clear and the tarpon come in from the Gulf, and accord- 
ing to Mr. A. M. Poindexter, a veteran tarpon angler of Tampico, 
by November they will be found at the entrance of every small 
affluent of the Panuco. The fishing continues until the middle 
or the last of June. The record tarpon at Tampico, according 
to Mr. Poindexter, is seven feet two inches, weight two hundred 
and two pounds. It was landed by Mr. H. W. Wilson, the 
British Consul General at Tampico. The following are some 
of the yearly catches at this point, or the winter fishing : 

Season 1905-06. 

December 1 to May 1 . 

. 1,287 Tarpon 


)> 5J 

. 1,518 „ 


3J )) • 

. 1,585 „ 


)> SJ 

. 1,382 „ 


>) )) 

. 1,417 „ 




' Nee te puniceo rutDantera visoere, Salmo 
Transierim, latae cujus vaga verbera caudae 
Gurgite de medio summas referuntur in iindeis, 
Oecultus placido cum proditur aequore pulsus. 
Tu loricato squamosus pectore, frontem 
Lubrious et dubiae facturus fercula coenae, 
Tempora longarum fers incorrupta morarum, 
Praesignis maculis capitis, cui prodiga nutat 
Alvus, opimatoque fluens abdoiuiae venter.'* 

Ausonius : The Moselle, 97-105. 

ALL anglers know that, as a rule, tlie Pacific Coast salmon 
mU not take a fly ; also that their habits are totally dis- 
similar to those of the Atlantic Coast or Europe. But one day 
hearing that the LinkEiver at Klamath PaUs, Oregon, was alive 
with salmon, on their way up the river, I determined to 
give them the benefit of the doubt and make the attempt to 
take one with a fly. I was towed to a little river by Captain 
John Griffith's launch ; then Tom Littlefield, my boatman and 
guide, started to row me into the little river, so charming that 
I hope many of my readers may some time see it, and that Dr. 
Henry Van Dyke may some fair day add it to his famous collec- 
tion of ' Little Eivers.' 

I fancy you would never find it if not told exactly where it is, 

> ' Nor will I pass thee, O Salmon, blushing with thy red flesh, the roving 
strokes of whose broad tail are borne from the middle of the stream to the 
top of the water, at such time as the hidden lash betrays itself on the calm 
surface. Now, clothed in scaly armour, shppery as to thy fore part, and able 
to constitute a remove for a most excellent dinner, dost bear keeping fresh 
for a long time ; thou art conspicuous with thy spotted head ; thy full 
paunch trembles, and thy belly overflows with abdominal fat.' 

Literal translation by Hoitghton. 


as its mouth is scarcely one hundred feet across, and the stream, 
turns so quickly and so many times, and its shores are so lined 
with willows, aspens, and various fragrant shrubs and grasses,, 
that I did not see it until we were fairly within the gates, and 
hailed by the Modoc Indians, at camp in a little nest where the 
trees had been cut down by the beavers. 

The Williamson empties into Klamath Lake about three or 
four miles northeast of Eagle Bidge, Upper Klamath, and winds, 
about in a marvellous fashion, sixteen miles or more, through 
the Klamath and Modoc Indian Eeservation ; then reaching 
the highlands, it continues on and ends upon the slope of Mt.. 
Mazuma not far from Crater Lake, in the interim receiving several 
branches, chief of which is the Sprague. The latter is a little river, 
and almost anywhere a good angler coidd cast from one side 
to the other ; and it is so well wooded along its borders with tule, 
willow, cottonwoods, wild corn and various bushes, that th& 
fishing, in the main, must be done from a row-boat. 

We began fishing at the mouth, where the water changed 
from an old-gold hue to a deep mahogany, which reflected the 
splendid colours of the autumnal tints. The Indians had several 
big salmon and trout hanging beneath the trees, and grunted a. 
laconic welcome, as the river is theirs, or runs through their 
reservation. I first used a big St. Patrick fly ; then a March 
Brown, then a Eoyal Coachman, casting faithfully up the reaches, 
of the stream, so radiant in colours, so insistent in turning and 
providing hew effects and vistas, from the faint nebulous rim 
of Crater Lake to the snowcap of Mount Pitt, that I should have 
been satisfied had I not taken a fish. 

I cast beneath the bushes into the golden-red shadows along- 
the white tips of willow that the beavers had cut ; out into the 
middle of the stream, and as we approached the turns where the 
little river widens out into pools, we stood off, and I did my 
best casting, as to length or distance, frequently not even disturb- 
ing the divers and mud hens, or a flock of mallards. I placed a 
fly on almost every foot of the stream to faithfully prove that 



some Pacific salmon will take a fly ; but the only rises I had were 
of snipe, which went whistling over us, or beautiful magpies 
which were continually flying laboriously across the little river 
as though to display their abxmdant plumage, and as I was looking 
xit the water I saw them upside down. After several hours of 
this I surrendered and replaced the fly, I was then trying, 
with a Wnson spoon — ^a concession to the inevitable — ^and 
l)egan to troll, that is I paid out one hundred feet of line 
and my boatman rowed slowly along, the lure being six inches 
below the surface. 

' The generous gushing of the springs. 
When the angler goes a-trolling, 
The stir of song and summer wings, 
The line which shines, and life which sings 
Make earth replete with happy things. 
When the angler goes a-trolIing.' 


I was using a Divine-made eight-ounce split bamboo or cane 
rod about ten feet long, ai tapered oiled-silk line I had purchased 
of Hardy in London in 1910, and one of his trout reels ; so it was 
not salmon tackle in any sense. We made the change near the 
mouth and rowed slowly upstream. I was sitting facing the 
stern on a board placed across the rails — a Santa Oatalina fashion 
— ^my boatman regaling me with the wonderful catches of trout 
he had seen made here, when without warning I had a strike 
vrhich almost took the rod out of my hands, as at that particular 
second I was following a magpie upside down across the little 

The fish hooked himself, so violent was the rush, and in a 
second of time I was torn from a Waltonian contemplation of 
nature to the vigorous play of a salmon fresh from the sea. I 
hooked the fish in a large pool ; his first rush took fifty feet of line, 
to the blare of the English click, then I checked him hoping to 
see him leap. But he was a king of the sulkers and never showed 

Fig. 37. 

1. The Author's Salmon, on Trout Tackle. 2. The Salmon Pool, Williamson River, 
Oregon, U.S.A., Altitude 4,500 Feet. The Mountain, 9,000 Feet. p. 264. 


himself, making a series of rushes up and down, in and out ; 
then taking a position in a deep eddy, defied me. 

I had caught a seventeen-pound yellowtail with the eight- 
ounce rod, though I had the reel above the grip, and now the 
reel was at the end, and when I tried to reel I merely reeled 
the tip and first joint into the black river ; the only way I could 
offset this was by giving line. I reeled and gave line several 
times, but the salmon was laughing at me, and so, I fancy, was 
Tom, my guide. Things in some way were reversed, and it 
gradually dawned on me that I was being played by the salmon. 
So I told Tom to row off, and when we reached a spot one hundred 
feet distant I began to reel. 

The reel rallied nobly and lifted the fish, which dashed around 
in a great curve, then came at me with such rapidity that I 
could not take in the line on my single action reel and was sure 
he was off. I stripped the line in with my left hand, coil after 
coil, as the river bank here abounded in branches cut and dropped 
in by beavers, and the salmon displayed a too-evident desire to 
run along this chevaux de frieze, when the lightest touch on my 
green tapered line would have severed it. The fish came racing 
up to the boat, saw me, and turned, dashing away, and taking 
thirty feet of line through my thumb and forefinger until he 
was exhausted. Then I called on the eight-ounce rod, which 
displayed its resiliency by taking to the water. 

We went through this performance several times, and as it 
was a very warm day, and I had been playing the fish forty min- 
utes, I began to suspect that my rod, and even myself, were 
outclassed by this doughty fish. I recalled an argument I had 
with my friend Annan on the Tweed ; I taking the ground that 
the EngUsh salmon rod was unnecessarily long and stiEf. How 
I wished for that very rod, or something that would move this 
colossus of the pool ! How pitiable my trout rod appeared trying 
to hide its head, and its entire length, for that matter. How 
Annan would have enjoyed my confusion ! I tried every ex- 
pedient from rowing off, to rowing over the fish ; but he was, 



apparently, as fresh as ever, and I was reluctantly compelled to 
acknowledge that my theory of a medium-weight trout rod was 
not adapted for this fish ; at least, with the reel at the end of the 

But I did not give in at once. I temporized with the enemy, 
in the language of the ring, playing for wind literally ; and I 
confess that I needed it, as the effort to hold the impossible rod 
was work of the hardest kind. At last, after nearly three-quarters 
of an hour, playing and being played, I told Tom to row inshore. 
I landed in a little beaver clearing where I stood a moment, then 
began a new attack. Sometimes the rod had a gallant bend, 
again it would point directly at the game, but in fifteen minutes 
I had the sulker coming, and as he shot along the bank I held him 
and called for the net. The moment the salmon saw it, he dashed 
off twenty or thirty feet, and tried to sulk again. Time and 
again I brought him to the bank, and as many times missed him. 
We had no gaff and the net was a smaU afEair for trout of a few 
pounds. But eventually I held him and Tom lifted him in, a 
blue-back, spotted grilse of twelve pounds fresh from the sea. 
Not a large salmon ; not half the size of the one an Indian in a 
dugout held up to us, which must have weighed twenty-five 
pounds. But I confess that a smaU fish never before had so 
much sport with me, and all due to my faith in trout rods for 
salmon. Even now I contend that with the reel above the grip 
I might have made a fair showing, though my long slender tip 
was outclassed. When I fish again for salmon on the Williamson 
I shall have a rod that wiU at least lift a fish from the bottom of 
the pool. 

On another day my wife hooked a salmon of unknown size 
in the old Indian pool twenty miles upstream at the first rapid. 
After a battle of twenty or thirty minutes, when bringing it to 
the gaff, it made a rush around the stern and broke the line, a 
melancholy ending of a gallant contest. This salmon had entered 
the Klamath Eiver above San Francisco and, doubtless, was a 
member of the big school that lies in Monterey Bay in Jidy and 


August, feeding on the vast schools of anchovies, where I have 
angled for them. 

At Monterey there is a salmon cannery devoted to the exter- 
mination of the salmon. July, August and September finds many 
anglers at Del Monte for the salmon sea-fishing. The angler 
may go out in a row-boat or in a launch, the tackle being a rod 
similar to that described for yellowtail, a stiff nine-ounce rod 
being all that is sufiScient. The bait is a sardine or smelt, and 
as the fish generally lie thirty or more feet below the surface a 
detachable sinker is used, which comes off at the strike and per- 
mits the angler to fish at ease. At first the boatman will hunt 
for the salmon, using a large hand-line and a heavy sinker, and 
once the school is located by a catch, the angler may begin fish- 
ing with his rod, which consists of trolling with the lure twenty 
or more feet down, though at times the salmon are at or near the 

The country in the vicinity of the bay of Monterey is of great 
interest. On the north are the redwood forests and some of the 
largest of the Sempervirens, this being the southern limit. Here 
are the towns of Santa Cruz, Capitola, with their little rivers, the 
American, Soquel, and San Andreas, charming trout streams where 
I have angled for rainbow trout five miles from the mouth, fished 
for steelheads in the laguna and for salmon offshore ; all in 
one day or an afternoon and the following morning. On the 
south side of the bay is the old capital of Caltfornia, Monterey, 
and the town of Del Monte, and its hotel, which stands in a park 
of several hundred acres and includes a game preserve, and the 
upper Eio Carmel — a delightful little river which empties into 
Carmel Bay near the ancient mission. The mornings are smooth 
here, despite the fact that the bay is practically an open road- 
stead. The salmon fieet, augmented by ten or twenty anglers is 
on the ground by seven o'clock, or earlier, and the sport is on in a 
short time. 

The salmon is the chinook, and in its best condition, fuU 
of fight and ranging up to fifty pounds, affords excellent sport. 



I haTe never seen a salmon leap here, but am told that they do. 
Several which I took rose to the surface and the water boiled 
about them. The sport can be compared only to yellowtail 
fishing, the play of the salmon much resembling that of the 
yeUowtail. But it has several hundred feet of water beneath it ; 
hence wiU go down and sulk if allowed. In September, or late 
in August, the salmon move north and enter the Sacramento* 
Klamath and other rivers which lead them hundreds of nules 
from the ocean never to return, as all Pacific Coast salmon 
die after spawning. I have referred particularly to the chinook 
salmon as I believe it is the best game fish ; but it is but one 
in a number of commercially valuable salmon of the coast. 
The average rod 'catch was twenty-five or thirty pounders, 
and the morning catch of the anglers often equalled thirty or 
forty fish running up to fifty pounds. The fishing lasts imtil 
eleven or twelve o'clock when the strong inshore wind begins 
and ends the sport of the rod fisherman, so far as comfort is 

There are five distinct species of salmon on this coast : the 
king salmon or quinnat {Oncorhynchus tschawytscha), already re- 
ferred to, which I have taken in the Williamson Eiver of Oregon 
and in the Pacific Ocean at Monterey ; the blueback salmon 
or red fish, or sock eye (0. nerka), which attains a weight of five 
or eight pounds ; the silver salmon, or coho (0. milMscMtsch), 
with a maximum weight of five or eight poxmds ; the dog salmon, 
ealico salmon, chum or sakfe (0. Jceta), which reaches a weight of 
ten pounds ; the humpback salmon, or piak salmon (0. gor- 
buscha) ; a little salmon of five pounds, and the Masu (0. masou). 
Nearly aU these salmon, in the localities in which they are found, 
doubtless will afford some sport to the angler with a spoon or 
bait. But there is nothing to compare with the fly fishing of the 
Atlantic salmon, though I question if an angler could have better 
or more spirited game than I did on the Williamson, and had the 
fish been played with a heavier rod it certainly would have 
afforded sport comparable with that afforded by an EngUsh salmon. 


No more extraordinary subject in tlie history of fish and 
angling is presented than the life history of the above-mentioned 
salmon. Dr. David Starr Jordan has made it a careful study 
and has shown some startling and extraordinary facts. But it 
may be said that the king salmon is the game fish par excellence^ 
and it -will be found all along the Pacific coast, particularly 
at Vancouver, where very large specimens are taken with the 
spoon and bait. The angler will always hear of fly fishing, and I 
recall a very courteous invitation once received from an English- 
man in Vancouver, the lure being that I shoidd be shown some 
salmon fly fishing. I also recall, if I am not mistaken, that Mr. 
Kipling enjoyed the fly fishing for salmon on the Klackamas, 
an Oregon river. 

The king salmon and the blueback have a spring run up 
the rivers, whfle all the rest, according to Jordan, ' run ' or go 
up to spawn in the fall. Ordinarily the salmon live in the ocean, 
probably off the mouths of the rivers or near at hand, and they 
appear to move up the streams — the Sacramento, Klamath, 
Columbia, Fraser, Nass, Skeena, Stickeen, Taku and other 
streams in a more or less regular order. The chinook first ; 
then the blueback, silver, humpback and dog salmon. It is 
believed that the first to enter the rivers are those which make 
the longest journeys. Thus the quinnat or king salmon, which 
we have seen at Monterey and Klamath Lake, travels up the 
Yukon to Lake Bennet — a distance of two thousand two hun- 
dred and fifty miles from the mouth of the river, while the 
red salmon is known to swim to ' Forty Mfle,' over one thousand 
eight hundred miles from the Pacific. 

There is a remarkable difference in habit. Thus the fixie king 
salmon, which may weigh from twelve to one hundred pounds, 
enters the large rivers which rise in melted snows, while the red 
salmon. Dr. Jordan tells us, AdU enter only rivers which pass 
through lakes. The great chinook spawns at the head of 
rivers ; the red salmon in small streams that flow into lakes. 
The other species mentioned do not swim long distances, but 



enter small rivers and spawn in them. Fishes of many sizes 
are seen in the streams at the same time, and in the Fraser Eiver 
in the fall, Dr. Jordan found fully developed salmon as small as 
eight inches, but not showing the sexual hooked jaws found in 
older fishes. The salmon average larger in the northern rivers. 
Thus the average weight in the Columbia Eiver of the qidnnat 
is twenty-two pounds, and fishes of sixty, eighty and one hundred 
pounds are taken. In the Sacramento, which reaches the ocean 
at San Francisco, the average salmon is sixteen pounds. It is 
believed that the very large salmon are those individuals which 
for some reason have failed to spawn and have in some way avoided 
the fate of all spawning fish here, which is beheved to be death. 

The fish perform feats of remarkable valour in jumping 
falls in aU rivers, and their persistency is often pathetic. 

' Here, when the labouring fish at the foot arrive, 
And knows that by his strength but vainly doth he strive. 
His tail takes in his teeth ; and bending like a bow 
That's to the compass drawn, aloft himself doth throw ; 
Then springing with his tail, as doth a little wand 
That bended, end to end, and flirted from the hand, 
Far off itself doth cast ; so doth the Salmon vaut. 
And if at first he fail, his second somersaut 
He instantly assays, and from his nimble ring 
Still yesting, never leaves until himself he fling 
Above the streamful top of the surrounding heap.' 

In early days in Alaska they frequently fiUed the rivers ia places 
in an almost soM mass, and at certain falls the bears congre- 
gated to catch the salmon that missed the jump and fell out upon 
the rocks. On entering the rivers it is supposed the fish do 
not feed, but I have seen a salmon chasing small fry in the 
Feather at Big Meadows — a long distance from the sea. The 
stomach contracts, and theoretically, and in the greater number 
positively,! the salmon does not feed, and the explanation of their 

^ In certain rare instances food has been found in the stomach of a 
spawning salmon. 


taking a spoon, is, that it is in obedience to the eating habit, or 
that they are annoyed. 

"When the quinnats reach the spawning grounds at the head 
of the river they are badly injured, cut and worn. They pair and 
the male forms a smooth place or nest in a gravelly spot where the 
eggs are deposited. This accomplished, the tragedy ends by 
both fishes, weak and emaciated, drifting slowly downstream, 
tail first, and sooner or later dying. The eggs hatch in about 
sixty days, and the young remain in the vicinity until the spring 
freshets when they, doubtless, go down to the sea, remaining 
there until the fourth year when they re-enter the nearest river 
as adults, where, if smaU, they are known as grilse. 

The range of salmon up and down the coast is interesting. 
The king salmon, or chinook, ranges south to the San Buena- 
ventura Eiver on the borders of Los Angeles county, or in lati- 
tude thirty-two degrees. Dr. Jordan has observed aU the species 
in the Columbia and Fraser Elvers, ' all but the blueback in the 
Sacramento and aU the waters tributary to Puget Sound.' 

There is a great difference in the appearance of the salmon at 
times. In the early spring aU are silvery, and the big chinook, 
or king salmon, I have taken at Monterey were beautiful objects 
resembling molten silver. As the spawning season approaches 
they lose the silvery hue, and the flesh, a salmon-red, becomes 
paler. But, like rainbow trout, some may be red, and some 
white, without apparent reason, although anglers and habitants 
have many ingenious explanations — ^food, temperature, and 
others. As the season advances the male changes ; the tip of 
the lower jaw is prolonged, both jaws become strangely hooked, 
and there are often extraordinary changes. The blueback 
turns red ; the head green. The dog salmon assumes a dark-red 
tint, with black bars, while the quinnat takes on a dark or black 
hue. In the spring when they enter the streams they are silvery, 
in the late fall they appear distorted and|weird caricatures of 
their former selves. 

The value of the salmon fisheries per annum in Alaska 


amounts to nearly two million pounds. Dr. Jordan does not 
believe the salmon have any special instinct which induces them 
to return to the river from which they originaUy came. He 
believes that the young descend and remain about the river, or 
not more than thirty or forty miles distant, and that their return 
to that particular river is due to the fact that it is the nearest 
and most convenient. Once in the stream, they seem to play about 
for some time, then enter the channel and swim steadily upward. 
It is estimated that the salmon in the Sacramento make two 
miles in a day ; in the Columbia three. But the spring run of 
salmon in the Columbia make four miles, as an average, and, of 
course, ten miles and more to enable them to reach the extreme 
points given. 

The angler with the rod in visiting the Pacific coast of N'orth 
America should not fail to include the splendid chinook, king, 
or quinnat, call it what you will, in his itinerary, either off 
Vancouver, Canada, in the many rivers, or at Monterey, where in 
the bay of Monterey or that of Carmelo, it may be taken under 
most interesting and agreeable circumstances. If the angler 
finds his way to Upper Klamath Lake just over the line in Oregon, 
he should try the little Williamson with a Wilson spoon and a rod 
of something over eight ounces and 

' I shall stay him no longer than to wish . . . that if he be an honest 
angler, the east wind may never blow when he goes a-fishing.' 

Isaak Walton. 


Fig. 38. American Trout Streams. 

1. Sprague River — Home of Big Rainbow Trout. 2. Roaring River, Branch of Kern 
River. 3. Rainbows from Pelican Bay, Klamath Lake. 4. Lake Trout, Lake Tahoe, 

California. (Photo by Tebbetts) 

p. 272. 



' I would . . . fish in the sky whose bottom is pebbly with stars.' 


THEEE is something, some peculiar charm about angling- 
which arrested the attention of great men, thinkers and 
philosophers ages ago. Perhaps they were attracted by the 
fact that Glaucus was changed into a sea deity that he might b& 
near the fishes. 

Long before Christ, Theocritus was writing poems on things 
piscatorial. Homer knew of the delights of angling, and the 
astonishing philosophical discussions of Athenaeus refer to the 
art. Many of the Greek and Latin classics have reference ta 
fishing and contribute to the fisher eclogues. 

Sannazaro in 1503 wrote pastorals in the vein of Virgil, but 
pastorals of the sea and fisher folk. 

In the Odyssey we read : 

' As when an angler on a jutting rock, 
Sits with his taper rod and casts his bait 
To snare the smaller fish.' 

Fishes appeared in the ancient drama, as those of Epicharmus- 
(490 B.C.). The' Clown and the Fisherman ' Sophron took from. 
Epicharmus, but he originated ' The Timny Catcher.' 

Many of the SicUian poets sang of fish and angling. The 
romances of the ancient Greeks include frequent references to- 
anglers and angling, and if we were to attempt to write the 
history of the poesy of angling, the idylls of anglers, or what may 
be called the pastorals of the fishermen, we would, doubtless,. 

i8 273 


"be amazed at the material accumulated before Walton, who en- 
deared himself to the anglers of the world by presenting his more 
than delightful philosophy of angUng, teaching men that it was 
the gentlest of arts, a pastime for gentlemen and gentlewomen. 

If I were to wish a trout lover good luck I could not do better 
than to wish he were with me as these lines are written. From 
a, commodious log hunting lodge at Eagle Eidge I look down on 
the crimson surface of Klamath Lake just over the California 
hne in Oregon, America. Silver trout are leaping everywhere. 
I cannot raise my eyes that I do not see one, or the swirl of circles 
^s he comes down, and the crash and smash on the water is 
constant. The lake is wide and shallow, nearly thirty miles 
long, with extensive snipe, curlew and duck marshes through 
which run beautiful little rivers which rise in springs of great 
size and coldness. The little spring-fed streams, as Odessa, 
Crystal and Spring Creek, are radiant in beauty of foliage ; 
beside these there are several rivers, as the Williamson, Wood 
and Sprague, which flow into the lake and abound in charms which 
unfailingly appeal to the lover of nature. 

Away on the northern horizon is that wonder of the world, 
the hanging lake of Mazama, a liquid sapphire over a mile in 
a,ir, the home of rainbow trout, reaUy a vast crater filled with 
water ; a crater as perfect to-day as when made in the past. 
All this region is famous for its big rainbow trout. 

We pushed off one morning, the launch towing the small 
boat, dropping me and my boatman about ten miles up the WH- 
Eamson, a winding river famous for its fly casting and scenery. 
Kever was a Eoyal Coachman or Klamath fly cast into such 
glories of colour, tint and shade as here. On the third cast there 
came a response ; a stiffening of the line, a quick bending of the 
resilient rod, and the game was on. I was using an eight-ounce 
«plit bamboo rod and tapered oiled-silk line, and was filched of 
one hundred feet in the first rush of this unknown, which went 
into the air, hurling the spray, to come down with a crash that 
^woke the dormant echoes, and brought out a half cheer from an 


old Modoc squaw who sat on the bank watching this fish plwy 
me. We were directly below the rapids, and the splendid trout 
would course around the pool, go into the air, then plunge to the 
bottom, giving me the battle of my life, with trout. Slowly it 
came in, and time and again it dashed away at the sight of the 
net. It was only taken at last by a sort of angling miracle, the 
hook holding by a mere sliver. Tom Littlefield, my boatman, 
weighed it, and pronounced it an eight-pounder. 

Anywhere else this would have been an extraordinary event, 
but an eight-pounder was no rarity here, and Colonel Gay of 
San Diego, who is smoking on the lodge veranda, has a record of a 
nineteen and one-half pound rainbow. My best rainbow was 
a ten-pound fish, and a nine-pounder hangs in the Tuna Club 
to prove another story. 

The following day I took fourteen rainbows in this river. 
The largest weighed seven pounds and none below three or four 
pounds. A day later when rowing alone in a little blind river 
in the snipe country near Pelican Bay, I hooked a fish in a big 
pool, which fought me an hour. I think he was an eleven- or 
twelve-pounder, but he weighed but ten an hour later. On 
another occasion my companion, Mr. Joseph Eeed of Pasadena, 
landed four-, five-, six-, seven-, eight- and ten-pound rainbows 
after remarkable contests, and Mrs. Eeed an eleven-pounder. 

The record fish of this locality was taken by Mr. J. B. Lippin- 
cott of Los Angeles. It weighed twenty-two pounds, and scores 
have been caught ranging upward from five to fifteen and twenty 

In this region there were, to the eye, two distinct rainbows ; 
he of the deep river pools, dark, heavy and brilliantly coloured 
with flesh-pink or white. This was the ty^jical, finely propor- 
tioned Salmo irideus, called the rainbow by Dr. David Starr 
Jordan years ago. Whenever I look at a rainbow I recall the 
fish, and when I land the fish I think of a rainbow, as he is one, 
if you can imagine delicate filmy old-rose lace drawn over the 
living rainbow. The rainbow is, all in all, the game fish of the 



clan of trout. I have taken numbers that were too big to fight, 
or out of trim and disappointing ; but the average rainbow at 
its best is a hard fighter, and a living challenge to the best 

This trout is indigenous to the permanent streams and many 
lakes of the Pacific coast of North America from the Columbia 
and farther north, doubtless, down to Lower California, where, 
in the little streams which flow down from the great mountain, 
San Pedro Martyn, there is a pigmy rainbow (Salmo nelsoni). 

There is no mistaking the rainbow of the pools and dark 
streams as he is big-headed, his tail wide, while his colour ranges 
from reddish to old port. You may count from one hundred 
and twenty-five to one himdred and thirty scales in a line along 
his body, and they are larger than in other trout. He talks 
with a high and demonstrative dorsal fin, very expressive, 
denoting rage and a lot of other things. You may also count 
from seven to ten rows of dark leopard-hke black spots. K you 
wish to push your investigations further, there are no teeth along 
the middle line of the tongue, wMle the head, as stated, is large, 
being nearly a fourth the length of the fish. The male is large 
and ponderous, attaining a weight of twenty-four or twenty- 
five pounds, and displays a salmon-like suggestion of curving 
jaws in the spawning season. In small streams the rainbow 
matures at six inches, and in Klamath it is found bearing eggs 
every month in the year. 

In California, Oregon and Washington, it is the ' native son,' 
the fish of the people, found in lakes and streams, from the sea 
to five miles above it, and has been sent all over the world with 
the compliments of California. 

The sea-going rainbow, the steelhead, has been referred to 
elsewhere, but the rainbows I took up to ten pounds in the 
open lake at Klamath were an entirely different fish in appearance. 
They were silver and mauve, but slightly spotted, and we called 
them silver trout. They were possibly the rainbows of the 
open shallow muddy waters. 

Fig. 39. 
The 1 0-Pound Silver (Rainbow) Trout, 8-Ounce Rod. Upper Klamath I.ake, Oregon, U.S.A. 

p. 276. 


New trout are constantly being discovered or produced. I 
am almost convinced that I foimd a new silver trout ia Klamath 
Lake, as Professor Snyder did in Tahoe. Just how a new species 
is discovered may be of interest to the angler reader. I wrote 
to Dr. Snyder, of Stanford University, regarding my alleged silver 
trout, and in his reply occurs the following : 

' It is barely possible that the fish which you caught is a relative of 
the silver trout which I have just named, and my reasons for suspecting 
that, are not altogether without foundation. I do not know any good 
reason for supposing that it is not a steelhead except that I can see no 
trace of spots on the fins or body. Nor does it look Hke my new species, 
as that has small pointed fins that are comparatively weak, not looking 
hke the fins of a fish that is accustomed to stem the current of a river. 
However, when the description of that fish reaches you, you wiU no doubt 
be able to decide as to whether it comes anywhere near fitting the trout 
which you caught. I should Hke nothing better than to spend some time 
on Klamath Lake and the rivers near by studying the fishes. I made a 
trip to the lakes of Oregon that He east of the Klamath basin once and 
foimd them of great interest. Perhaps you have read my report on their 

' I have read a great many of your fish stories and so I shall have to 
teU you how I came across the new trout which I have mentioned. The 
Msheries Bureau commissioned me to make as thorough a study of the 
fishes of the streams and lakes connected with the ancient Lake Lahontbn 
as possible. I was somewhat famiHar with the species of the region in so 
far as one might so become with the aid of books and a few specimens, 
and so set out with a good assistant to catch what we might from the 
streams and lakes. On such quests I have found it a good plan to listen 
to aU the stories and general information about fishes that I can draw 
from the anglers and fishermen that I meet. They aU have their ideas 
about the number and kind of species in the waters that they fish, and I 
find it especially profitable to make mental comparisons of what they say 
and what the books have led me to look for. Now up there I constantly 
ran across references to a beautiful silver trout, and the various descrip- 
tions that I got, aU boiled down and carefuUy filtered, made a decoction, 
the properties of which lead me to feel ce!rtain that a species of trout of 
which we knew very Httle might be found in the region. So we made a 
camp on Lake Tahoe and remained three weeks fishing and watching the 
catches of better fishermen than oiurselves but with no better results 
than a stiU firmer conviction that something would yet tura up. I had 



intended to return to Tahoe last summer and continue the search, but 
funds were not available as Congress failed to pass the appropriations for 
so long a time. But we had a student, Mr. Pomeroy, who was attending 
the boats at a resort there, and who became interested ia the trout. Mr. 
Pomeroy is a bright student and a careful observer, and it was not long 
before he found a gentleman who not only knew the fish for which we 
were looking but who also had a very fitting name for it, the royal silver 
trout. This was Mr. Ralph Lowe. It was not long before he caught a 
royal silver trout and sent it to me fresh, by express. That settled it. 
Two more specimens were soon caught, one by Mr. W. P. Lyon and one by 
Mr. Pomeroy. It will be known now as Salmo regalis, the Royal Silver 
Trout. It is one of the most beautiful fishes that I have seen, not Mke 
other trout with which we are f amiUar, but having a beauty all its own, 
to be contrasted rather than compared with other trout that I know. It 
is reported to be a deep-water fish, never being caught near the siuiaoe, 
yet one of these specimens furnished evidences of long continued surface 
feeding. It seems to be entirely unknown to members of the State Fish 
and Game Commission, but I hope that they wiU try to find out 
something about it before it disappears, and it seems to be on the 
road to extinction, if the information that I have concerning it is at aU 

' As you no doubt know, there are some relationships between the 
fauna of the Lahontan basin and that of the Klamath. In both are found 
species of the remarkable sucker-Uke fishes Chasmistes, and I should not 
think it very strange if both contained a similar deep water trout, a trout 
much like the one which I have described. Chasmistes, and some other 
fishes appear to belong to an old fauna, which once had a more wide dis- 
tribution than at present, and I beheve that the new trout is a member of 
that same old order, now passing. A representative of this same trout 
is to be looked for in Klamath Lake, unless my guessing is wide of the 

Mr. Alfred Beebe, who has fished the Pelican Bay region, 
Klamath Lake, Oregon, U.8.A., very kindly sends me a little 
table, including the years between 1899 and 1908, showing some 
of Ms fly-fishing catches of rainbow trout : 



Pelican Bay and Teibutaby Creeks — Spring Ceeek (2 Visits) — 
Williamson River (1 Visrr)— Odessa Creek. 

Rainbow Trout. 

Fly Fishing only. 










Under 1 























































































. — 



Over 10 









Total . 









Time. . 







Apr., Sept., 








No. of 

Trips . 








Av. per 










Fish. . 




lOi lb. 

5 jib. (2) 


9^ lb. 

My . . 

















Taken in 

Trout are seen here Kterallyin droves, and Pelican Bay, Odessa, 
Rocky Point, Crystal and Spring creeks and the WiUiamson con- 
stitute the most remarkable region in the world for large rainbows. 



In the San Gorgonia mountains of California is found another 
little rainbow. This is Salmo evermanni (Grianell). It is con- 
fined to the regions above seventy-five hundred feet and shut off 
from the lower trout by waterfalls. Still another species of rain- 
bow is Salmo masoni of the Cathlapootl river, and Salmo gU- 
berti, with a white tip to the dorsal fin and a suggestion of orange 
on the lower jaw. This is found in the lakes of California, as 
Kern, and has been taken up to ten pounds. It is a fine fighter. 

So pronoxmced are the variations in the rainbows that they 
are recognized as the Klamath rainbow, Salmo irideus, stonei, 
the Shasta rainbow and Gilbert's rainbow of Kern and Kings 
rivers. At the head waters of the Kern river, California, in 
Yolcano and Whitney creeks, and in several other localities, is 
found a radiant little rainbow called the Golden trout of Mt. 
"Whitney, as over it is an investment of golden sheen. Dr. Ever- 
mann has made these golden trout a study at the request of Ex- 
president Eoosevelt and the suggestion of Stewart Edward White. 
As a result, they are protected. Three species are known : 
Salmo agua-bonita, Jordan ; Salmo roosevelti, Evermann, from 
Volcano creek ; and Salmo wMtei, from Soda Creek ; and I think 
there is another in one of the lakes of Washington. These 
beautiful golden rainbows attain a length of six or eight inches, 
and when hooked and leaping into the strong sunhght of these 
glorious solitudes consecrated to the gracious waters, one can 
almost believe that the gold of California has been turned into 
a Kving fish by the hand of some upland Mdas. 

The rainbow and its species is supreme in the streams of 
California and Southern Oregon, and in the coastwise streams, 
from Humboldt bay north in California, Oregon and Washington ; 
also in the clear streams of both sides of the Eocky Mountains 
we shall find another species, the cut-throat trout {Salmo darMi), 
known in British Columbia, Puget-Sound, and other places 
as the Black-spotted trout, Columbia Eiver trout, and by various 
other names. As the name indicates, it has an orange-red slash 
under the throat. The scales are small, about one hundred 


and sixty to one hundred and seventy in line, and there is a band 
of small teeth on the hyoid bone at the base of the tongue, not 
found in the S. irideus, in which the teeth are only on the 
run of the tongue. The cut-throat splash is the sign manual of 
the Sioux Indians. When angling in Wyoming, Montana, Utah, 
Idaho, British Columbia, Puget Sound, one is liable to find that 
he has landed a cut-throat of five or six pounds, and if very lucky 
at Lake Tahoe, where the fish has been introduced, the same 
may tip the scales at thirty pounds. 

Lake Tahoe in California, on the summit of the Sierra IfTevada, 
a short ride from San Francisco, has been stocked with several 
varieties of trout and is the natural home of others. Here is 
taken the giant Tahoe trout {Salmo hensJiawi) with its delicious 
flavour of salmon. Tahoe is deep, cold and beautiful, and the 
trout are large, weU-fed, and noble specimens. It is easily 
recognized by the spots scattered over its entire surface. Another 
variety from the depths of this wonderful lake is Salmo henshawi 
tdhoensis ; a monster, which breeds in the depths of the lake 
and is taken with steel lines and huge reels. I have already 
referred to the royal silver trout of this lake, discovered to science 
by Professor Snyder. 

Tahoe, next to Crater Lake, is the most remarkable home of 
trout in America. It is a gem in the heart of the Sierras, a mile 
above the sea, surrounded by lakes and streams which in the 
summer months afford fine angling for many varieties of trout 
which have been introduced, several hatcheries being maintained 
by the State and private parties. ]N"ot far away is the Tosemite 
and the giant trees, the tallest in the world, according to John 
Muir, the patron saint of the forests of California. 

In Utah a fine trout is found, Salmo clarJcii virginitis, which 
attains a large size. Another at the head waters of the Platte and 
Arkansas rivers, the St. Vrain, and in the streams of Estes 
Park. This is Salmo clarJcii stomias ; while the variety, Macdonaldi, 
a fine yellow-finned trout, occurs, to the joy of the high anglers, in 
Leadville, Colorado. Other hard-fighting trout are Jordan's, 



of Lake Southland, near Lake Crescent, and the spotted 

There appears to be no end to the varieties of Salmo. A 
large spotted feUow, Salmo clarJcii spilarus, occurs in the Eio 
Grande, -while pleuriticus is found in the Colorado Basin. These 
are the most important trout of Western America, though the 
angler may find many more, which have been introduced, as 
Lock Leven. While fishing in the Big Meadows of the Feather 
Eiver in California for rainbows, which, apparently averaged 
from five to seven pounds, I took eastern Brook trout, of course 
introduced. This wonderful angling region is now being flooded 
and will become a lake and one of the great angling resorts of 
America, abounding in trout and salmon. 

It will be seen we have in Western IsTorth America three 
distinct series : the rainbow series, the cut-throat series, and the 
steelhead series, described elsewhere. !N^early all of these trout will 
take a fly, except, of course, the Tahoe trout, which is taken 
with a big spoon trolling deep. The tackle should be a battery of 
eight- and ten-ounce rods of split bamboo, or greenheart, and silk 
lines for casting. The Eoyal Coachman, Klamath, March 
Brown and Kamloops are good average flies, but in every 
locality there are certain flies suggested. On the Feather Eiver a 
grasshopper fly was killing in September. At Klamath, March 
Brown was the favourite, and large salmon flies were used. At 
Pelican Bay I flshed deep ; that is, allowed the fly in casting to 
sink a few seconds, then moved it quickly and repeatedly, and 
generally with results. In 1912, after a return from England, 
interested in dry fly fishing, I tried it along the beautiful shore at 
the head of the bay, with notable success. It was dry fly casting 
adapted to the conditions. I cast only at rises, and took the 
fly from the water before it sank. In this way I hooked some very 
large rainbows. In the Klamath FaUs region the angler needs 
at least an eight-ounce rod ; my own being outclassed practically 
by the seven-, eight- and ten-pounders. 

Eeference to the Pacific Coast trouts would not be complete 


without mention of the char-like giant of the Yukon and its 
tributaries ; in Alaska, the great lake trout, Cristivomer namay- 
eusJi, which attains a weight of eighty pounds, truly the king of 
the trouts. For such game the nine-ounce rod and nine- thread line 
of the Tuna Club could be commended. This fish is the common 
lake trout of New York, New England, Wisconsin, and Montana. 
In a Vermont lake near the Canada line it is called ' lunge ' — 
a misnomer. 

The angler who is following the Pacific Coast streams will 
do well to begin at the San Gabriel in Southern California, in 
April or May, to see the fish and canons of the Sierra Madre, 
visiting Eincon and Follows ; then the streams in the county of 
San Buenaventura, the Santa Ynez for steelheads ; then cross 
the great San Joaquin Valley to the Kern Eiver, and enter the 
wonderland of the High Sierras, and see the Golden trout ; then 
to the Yosemite to fish the sylvan glades of the Merced, which 
comes tumbling down into the vaUey. From here one can move to 
Tahoe ; then down the Truckee to Monterey for salmon in the 
sea. Next, to the little rivers near Santa Cruz, not forgetting the 
American Eiver and the Eussian further north and the Klamath. 
Now go up the Sacramento to the McCleod for cut-throats, Feather 
Eiver for its rainbows, and so on to Shasta and Klamath Lake 
and the innumerable rivers and lakes of the north, not omitting 
lakes Chelan and Crescent in Washington and the Yellowstone. 

This Park is where trout can be hooked in cold water, played 
and led into hot water and boiled without taking it from the 
hook. This is the stock fish story of Yellowstone Park, and very 
easy of demonstration in streams where a trout has been seen 
to rise to a fly, dashing up from deep cold water into a surface 
layer of scalding fluid from one of the many springs. 

Some of the most remarkable trout streams in America are 
found in Colorado, where the wild and rugged scenery adds to the, 
charm. The gamefish are grayling, rainbow trout, land-locked 
salmon from Maine, and eastern brook trout which have been 
introduced and are propagated by many hatcheries. I shall 



never forget the wonders of the streams reached by the Eio Grande 
road — the Gunnison, the Black Canon, the little stream near 
Manitou, and others seen from the summit of the Eocky Moun- 
tains, where in August I tramped in the snow, thirteen thousand 
feet in the air ; again from the Sierra Sangre de Christo Moun- 

Of the native trout of Colorado the yeUow-finned McDonald 
trout reaches eleven pounds in Twin Lakes, while the ' red fin ' 
attains a large size. STo state in America has finer trout 
fishing than Colorado. Travel which way you will over the 
Eocky Mountains, nearly every stream abounds in trout, and has 
an environment that is enchanting to the lover of nature. The 
famous fly streams are : the headwaters of Bear Eiver on the west 
slope, the Platte, Eio Grande, Arkansas, Middle and South 
Boulder, Iforth Eagle, White, Laramie, Michigan, Grand, 
Aimas, St. Vrain, Big and Little Thompson, Gunnison, Eoaring 
Fork, Frying Pan, Coudre, Genevre Creek, I^ederland reservoir, 
Jim Creek, Lake Stopps, Tumblesons, Touch Lake, Lake 
Clear, Lake Ivanhoe, Cottonwood Lake, Sweetwater Lake, 
Glenwood Springs, Falls, Grizzly Creek, Tonichi and Taylor 
rivers, and many more. 

The angling season in general is from the first of June until 
the first of If ovember. On my first fishing trip to Colorado I found 
the river perfectly dry ; there was not a suggestion of water where 
the wide stream made its way into the open near Pike's Peak. 
I was riding over the plain when suddenly I heard a roar, as of 
scores of engines letting off steam. I turned my horse in that 
direction and presently came to the bank, where was a river a 
quarter of a mile wide, a fierce and swirling torrent which 
might have been there centuries. I was a tenderfoot in Colorado 
and wondered proportionately until I learned there had been a 
terrific rain, a cloudburst forty miles away at the ' divide,' and 
the river was the result. The moral was, do not camp in a dry 
river bed in Colorado. 

The State appreciates its trout fishing, and with the Federal 


government stocks all the streams repeatedly. In 1911 eleven 
million trout fry were released, and in 1912 fourteen Tnillioa 
were placed in the streams for the pleasure of fly fishermen. 

Trout are now so easily transported that the Eainbow in 
particular has been carried to many lands from its home in Cali- 
fornia. It is at home in the Eio San Gabriel, near Pasadena, Cali- 
fornia, and in all the mountain streams running up to an altitude 
of two thousand or more feet, this in latitude thirty-two degrees, 
being about that of Cairo, Africa. Here it rarely sees ice or snow,. 
though the winter water is to some extent from the miniature 
glaciers and snowbanks of Mount San Antonio, and in the spring- 
the water is directly from the snow, though by the time it reaches, 
an altitude of two thousand feet it is more or less warm. In 
Klamath the best fishing for rainbows that I had in September^ 
1912, was in the lakes and rivers at four thousand seven hundred 
feet, and up the Williamson, where the altitude was five thousand 
feet ; I mention this to show that the rainbow is ubiquitous- 
He enjoys life at the sea level or a mile above it, in a hot 
or a cold chmate, as at Klamath the lake and rivers are all frozen 
over in winter, while the Eio San Gabriel in Los Angeles county 
is in a semi-tropic country. 

This suggests that the rainbow should thrive in England. In 
his All Around Angler, 'John Bickerdyke,' the distinguished 
author and authority on British angling, states that the Americaa 
rainbow has ' become exceedingly popular ' in England. He 
expresses a doubt as to whether it will remain in English rivers. la 
America the fish is at its best in sluggish rivers which flow into^ 
lakes, as the little rivers which flow into Klamath Lake. I am 
incUned to believe that it prefers rivers to lakes. Doubtless, 
certain numbers wOl go down to the sea, but here there is the com- 
pensation, that the rainbow wQl become a silvery sea-trout,, 
the steelhead, a splendid game that wfll be taken, and doubtless, 
is caught now, at the mouths of European rivers. Our author 
has taken the rainbow in the preserves of Sir Thomas Wardle on 
the borders of StafEordshire and at Blagdon in a Surrey lake. 



I have had so many delightful hours with the rainbow on the 
Pacific Coast in various streams, lakes and preserves, that it is 
particularly gratifying to know that British anglers will have an 
opportunity to enjoy this sport. As ' John Bickerdyke ' says in 
the volume mentioned, if I may be pardoned for copying from him 
to such an extent, ' So far as sport-giving quaUties are concerned, 
JSalmo irideus is, I am inclined to say, superior to our river brown 
trout when in good condition, fighting as gamely as OM/'.sea trout.' 
Then follows a warm encomium of other qualities of the native 
American trout which, unquestionably, wiU thrive, if given 
favourable conditions, in cool slow-flowing rivers, with an abund- 
ance of food and, as a suggestion, minnows. Some idea of the 
size of the American rainbow trout can be gained from the 
•catches of recent yearsi, particularly that of Mr. J. B. Lippineott, 
of Los Angeles, California, who has a record in the shape of a 
twenty-one-pounder, a description of which he kindly sends me 
for this volume : 

' This trout,' writes Mr. lippineott, ' was caught on the morning of 
June 20, 1906, from a boat on the clear water of Pelican Bay, which is an 
arm of Klamath Lake. It measiu-ed thirty -four and three-quarter inches 
in length, twenty -two inches in girth, and weighed twenty-one pounds. I 
used a seven-ounce rod with an eight-foot single-gut leader, and an abalone 
shell spoon. The spoon was about four inches long. It required thirty 
minutes to bring the fish to gaff. Mr. Kendall, who owns the Lodge, 
pronounced it a Silver Lake trout. Mr. Flynn of Sacramento, who holds 
the Gold Medal issued by the Midwinter Fair for long-distance fly casting, 
was with me in the boat when the fish was caught, and it would have been 
impossible for me to have landed it had it not been for his skilful handling 
of the boat and gaff. The fish jumped free from the water at least half 
a dozen times, and took us twice across the arm of Pelican Bay where we 
were fishing during the time we were fighting him. We cooked the fish 
and found the flesh most excellent and finely flavoured, and it was suffi- 
cient for eighteen people at a dinner given in its honour. An interesting 
thing about this trout was, that when he was cleaned, a fish nearly ten 
inches long was found in his stomach. 

' On the preceding morning the two of us caught twenty-eight pounds 
of trout weighing six pounds and less each. I consider the fishing around 
the Upper Klamath Lake the finest that I have ever found in the United 


As the angler goes south in California and crosses the Line 
into Lower California the rainfall becomes perceptibly less, and 
wMle there are a number of streams, but one, the Eio San Eamon, 
flows continuously to the sea. This trout stream runs in La 
GruUa Meadows on the west side of the San Pedro Martyr range, 
at an altitude of seven thousand feet, and about one hundred 
and fifty nules south of San Diego, U.S.A. It runs through 
a rocky canon, and there are rainbows in it at various points. 
Trout are also found in the stream of the Sierra Madre in Chihua- 
hua, near the border of Durango and Sinaloa, at an altitude of 
eight thousand feet. There are also trout in the Eio Yaqui, 
which flows down from the mountains through the richest land 
in Mexico — the delta of the Eio Yaqui near Esperanza. 

The Lower California trout is a rainbow, Sdlmo nelsoni, 
and in the Eio Eamon is very game. Dr. Joseph GrinneU of the 
University of California, found, in 1907, a new trout in the 
upper reaches of the Eio Santa Ana, about seventy nules from 
Los Angeles. It is also of the rainbow series, and is named 
Salmo evermanni, in honour of Dr. Evermann, the distinguished 
authority on fishes. 

The Kootenay Lake in British Columbia, a tributary of the 
Columbia river, has produced some extremely large trout closely 
related to the steelhead or rainbow. One of twenty-two 
pounds was examined by Dr. Jordan and pronounced Salmo 
kamloops, a fine trout of elegant proportions, an ideal game fish. 




' The blessing of St. Peter's, master, be upon all that hate contentions, 
and love quietnesse, and virtue, and go a-angling.' 

Izaak Walton. 

THE magic of the deep-blue ocean finds no better example 
of the wonders of its touch than in the rainbow trout of 
the Pacific Coast, that when robed in vestments of striking and 
singular beauty, they go down to the sea and return so changed 
in colour and form that for years anglers have fought the battle 
of their identity. Columns have been written in attempts to prove 
that an Atlantic sea-trout is what the fortunate angler woidd 
wish it to be. What the sea-trout is to the Atlantic the 
steelhead is to the Pacific coast of N'orth America : a big lusty 
spendidly proportioned fish fuU of life and vigour and fight. 

He is longer than the rest of the trout tribe with finer lines, 
and he is a Silver King, either silver or steely, and when you see 
him go up into the air three, four, or even five feet in the centre 
of some Uttle laguna behind the sand dunes, the real joy of living 
is yours, particularly if he does not get away. 

I fancy that you may caU him sea-trout, or even salmon- 
trout if you wish, but if you speak by the card you must 
caU him a sea-going rainbow, as your steelhead goes down to 
the sea, not in ships, but with them. He starts high up in 
the Sierras or Cascades as a rainbow with aU its pristine glory 
of colour, but, when he comes back his dearest and best friend 
would not know him, as he is long, slender,[^Iithe and tigerish ; a 
silver knight, painted in the depths of the sea, dipped ia molten 
silver by Neptune. He returns masquerading in a totally new 


Fig. 40. American Trout from Lake Chelan, Washington, U.S.A. 
1. Land-Locked Steel-Head Trout. 2. Dolly Varden Trout. 3. Land-Locked Cut- 
Throat Trout. 4. Cranford Trout, cross between Land-Locked Steel-Head and Lake 
Chelan Cut-Throat.' (Photo by Cranford). p. 288. 


guise, but he is still a rainbow, and if you could ' corral ' him 
upstream and make a land-locked fish of him he would soon 
assume, in aU probability, the colours, tints and heavier shape of 
the typical rainbow. 

Our steelhead has long been misunderstood owing to this re- 
markable difference of appearance ; but it is one and the same fish, 
the rainbow of the mountains, the rainbow of the sea, merely 
adopting a different garb, but so unlike, that for angling pur- 
poses we may regard the steelhead as a separate and distinct 

On the Pacific Coast the steelhead is the joy of the winter 
angler, the only trout that can be taken at that season as he 
comes within the tide- water regulations and can be fished for in 
California any month of the year. The steelhead can be found 
in nearly all the streams of the Pacific Coast, from British Columbia 
down to Los Angeles and even Lower California. He enters 
the San Gabriel, and this may be called the southern limit, so far 
as numbers are concerned. He increases in size and numbers as 
we] go north, and at the lagunas of such streams as the Santa 
Ynez he comes in from ten to twenty pounds, a sea trout in all 
the term implies as he has been living in the Pacific, probably 
off the mouth of rivers, and nke a salmon, is impelled by instinct 
to go upstream to spawn. 

These journeys take the steelhead incredible distances from 
the Pacific, far up the coast rivers beyond the Coast Eange, in 
the Snake Eiver of Idaho and other localities. In every river 
on the Pacific coast of I^orth America where the rainbow lives in 
the upper waters, and can reach the ocean, the steelhead will 
be found. In certain lakes in Washington he is land-locked. 
Such a fish is shown in Figure 40-1. In Klamath Lake,Oregon, the 
rainbow has established itself in the deep pools of the beautiful 
little rivers, and is radiant in typical colouring ; but if you 
angle in the lake proper, where the water is shallow and the colour 
gray or Ught, the fish taken bear a strong resemblance to the steel- 
head and is called a silver trout ; but it is a rainbow adapted to its 

19 289 


enTironment.i If a typical rainbow, a steelhead and several 
other trout are placed side by side a wonderful contrast is seen. 
The steelhead is long, slender and silvery with fewer spots ; his 
head is pointed ; the eye seemingly near the end of the snout ; the 
head in the females insignificant in proportion to the body. The 
scales of the steelhead are larger than in the rainbow, smaller 
than in the cut-throat. The tail in the young fish is forked, and 
in the adult more forked than in the rainbow. But it is a powerful 
organ, as I know full well, having on several occasions re- 
ceived an extraordinary amount of water full in the face, as 
I attempted to net the fish. 

In salmon fishing in the beautiful bay of Monterey I have 
seen the big steelheads lying beneath the floating kelp four or 
five miles offshore, evidently with the salmon feeding on the 
schools of anchovies prior to making the long trip up the Sacra- 
mento, Eussian, Eogue, Klamath, or American rivers. 

Unquestionably, the steelhead is the king of the Pacific Coast 
trouts. The life in the ocean gives him vigour and fighting 
strength, and when fought fairly, and by this I mean with a rod 
whose weight is proportioned to his size, he will give the angler 
a battle royal. It is here that many a trout is condemned 
without reason. A half-pound steelhead is murdered on an 
eight- or ten-ounce rod, and the angling novice will condemn 
its fighting qualities ; but if the same fish is taken with a two- 
or three-ounce rod it is a different matter. 

I have taken the steelhead in many streams of North America, 
and the Soquel and San Lorenzo, on the north side of the bay of 
Monterey, appeal to me for their beauty of situation, as mere 
angling without attractive environment becomes ' fishing.' 
Tour real angler goes not after fish alone ; he leaves this feature 
to the professional fisherman. To enjoy true sport one must 
have a picturesque river, beautiful scenery ; and this remarkable 
bit of country south of San Prancisco, where the redwoods end, 
is, to my mind, made for the angler. 

^ It is poBsible that this is a different fish. 


One of the best steelhead streams in Southern California is 
the Eio San Buenaventura while the Santa Ynez leads the 
angler through some joyous and radiant country from the little 
laguna at its mouth up into the high Sierras of the Coast Eange. 

The Eogue Eiver in Oregon is a famous steelhead stream, 
twenty- pounders being not unusual. This river, as its name 
suggests, is treacherous at points where it flows rapidly through 
narrow rocky walls. I had my best sport above Grant's Pass 
where the river in places is sufficiently shallow for wading. 
It is a charming little stream ; now running along through fields 
of grain, again hedged in by rows and clumps of willows, or again 
bounding out into the open and down over some gravelly salmon- 
infested bed. 

In such a spot I took my first steelhead in the Eogue. I had 
laid in a large stock of flies upon the advice of an expert- on the 
region, but when I arrived at the river I found that some miner 
had been sluicing up the country and the Eogue, which should 
have been liquid crystal, was a river of golden mud. The fish 
could not see a fly, but my guide was equal to the occasion, and 
as a forty-pound salmon ran into the shallows hard by us, he 
gafEed it, took its spawn, and proceeded to bait my hook in a 
barbarous fashion when we remember that the river is supposed 
to be consecrated to St. Zeno, the patron saint of the fly fishers. 
He tied a handful of the eggs in a piece of mosquito net and lashed 
it to the hook on the oiled-sflk line attached to my eight-ounce 
split bamboo. 

The Eogue at this particiflar point was contracted between 
almost submerged gravel banks about which big salmon were 
floundering, and the current in a narrow channel ran like a 

' Now, " Colonel," ' said my guide, ' the scheme is this : I pull 

you upstream and turn the boat about, and you sit in the bow 

and cast. Then I jump in and steer her down, and when you 

get a strike I'll run in and you can play him from the bank.' 

It turned out just this way. He pushed the heavy boat 



upstream some three hundred feet, wading, then held her until 
I was ready. As I cast, thirty feet down, he sprang into the 
boat, grasped the oar and kept her in the centre of the rushing 
torrent. The working hypothesis was that the current would 
carry the heavy bait along as fast as the boat, and that so many 
steelheads were collected in the centre that the bait would 
strike one of the fish blindly in the head and he would take 

This was precisely what happened. Away we went, rushing 
down the chute at twenty miles an hour. Then the line tautened, 
I struck, and clear of the murky old-gold river sprang a vibrant 
beam of silver. With a violent wrench of the oar my man sent 
the boat inshore. As she touched the gravel I leaped out and 
backed into the shallows, and played my fish. In the first 
five minutes he left the water four or five times, whirling him- 
self into the air, tossing the spray, and coming down with a crash 
to make long rushes and take out forty or fifty feet of line, dash- 
ing upstream and away across ; then when turned, he was swept 
down by the treacherous torrent that more than once convinced 
me of the correctness of its naming. 

At last the fish reached the open water below and demon- 
strated its strength and the resiliency of my eight-ounce rod 
which had a record of a seventeen-pound yellowtail. If the 
strength of the steelhead increased with its years it would be a 
difficult fish to take with any tackle at twenty pounds. 

I played my fish with caution and in twenty minutes had 
him within reach and in the net : a seven-pounder, silvery, 
beautiful, and a good table fish, as I had him served that night. 
The boat was now pushed up against the stream and held while 
I leaped and again we rushed away to repeat the operation. I do 
not know whether ' shooting the chutes ' and such ' thrillers ' have 
reached England, I trust not, but if they have and the unfor- 
tunate reader has attempted it, if he will but imagine himself 
endeavouring to fish during the operation, some idea of this 
particular angling may be realized. 

Fig. 41. 
X-Ray Pictures of Steel Head Trout, Etc., Prepared in San Francisco, by Dr. B. F. Alden, 
of the Tuna Club, and Radiographed by Jean B. Sabalot, of San Francisco. p. 292. 


Much of the steelhead fishing in this locality is from the 
banks, some from boats ; but the best fish are taken by wading in 
arm-high rubber waders — a dangerous practice here, I think, on 
account of the current and the deep pools. My guide told me 
the story of a clergyman who hooked a large fish above a certain 
pool and was gradually towed out and doAvn the stream, not 
being able to stop the fish. Appreciating the situation, and that 
the river swept through a narrow rocky gorge not far below, 
the angler shed his waders, in some way not explained by 
my man, and then, as the fish dashed downstream, plunged into 
the channel and with the game was swept half a ntule, landing on 
a sandbar where he played the fish to a finish. 

Mr. Alfred Beebe gives me the data on the next page relating 
to his personal experience on the Eogue Eiver, Oregon. 

I can commend the Santa Ynez near Santa Barbara to the 
angler in April, May or June, when the steelheads are in the 
laguna at thp mouth of the little river which winds away through 
wonderful golden fields of mustard. Here you wade and cast 
a fly, spoon or bait, according to your conscience. The man 
with the spoon wins in point of numbers. The angler with a 
fly may not take anything, but I beUeve he has more joy in his 
soul. Yet there are times when flies wUl not be taken under any 
circumstances and the angler is justified ia using~_the spoon or 
live bait — ^the real luxe for the steelhead trout. 

If the reader should by chance fish the Eogue he should follow 
it up, or go back into the range, via Medford or Ashland, where 
motor cars can be had, and visit the wonder of the world — ^the 
hanging lake of Mazama, or Crater Lake, as it is called. Perhaps 
he will pass up Ana Canonlto reach it, and possibly it will occur to 
him that this canon, one of the most beautiful trout streams in 
America, was cut out ages ago by the breaking of the waUs of the 
crater, releasing this lake twenty-five miles around and of un- 
known depth, producing a flood which might have established 
a tradition of a Noachian flood in all JN'orth America. 



RoGtrB BivKK, Jackson Cc 

»., Obegon. 

South Fork Nehax,em 

Mainly Steelhead (Salmon) 

Trout : a 

. few 

RiVBE, Tillamook Co., 


small Salmon, and one 




Fly Fishing only. 

' Sea ' (Sahnon) Trout ; 
a few Cut-throats. 






Under 1 lb. 





Fished about 15 miles 

1-2 lb. . 





above Nehalem City. 

2-3 „ . 






3^ „ . 





possibly at a farmhouse. 

4-5 „ . 





Excellent sea-trout fish- 

5-6 „ . 





ing ; fish average ahovi 

Over 6 




1 m., from I lb. to 1^ lb. 

Total . . 






Time . . 




Late Aug., 1907 




No. of trips 





No. per trip 





Largest fish 


51 lb. 



About 11 lb. 


Flies . 

Jungle Cock Pro 
Jungle Cock Coa 


6 Jungle Cock Pro- 
fessor, and Jungle Cock 

Kamloops. Main 

Jy # 4 



Remarks. — ^The steelhead in the Rogue are undoubtedly the strongest 
fighting trout to be taken with the fly on the Pacific coast. Fished near 
Table Rock, Jackson Co., mainly above Bybu's Bridge, about 11 miles 
from Medford Ore. River easily reached by Auto. No accommo- 
dation. At TraU, 30 miles above Medford, good accommodation at 
Mrs. Middlebusher's ; reached by branch R.R. from Medford to Eagle 
Point, and stage thence, three times weekly. 

But this is not my reason for urging the reader to follow the 
canon. It is to fish in this marvel of the ages, as the government 


has set aside this sapphire in the eternal peaks as a national park 
and stocked it with trout, steelheads in their rainbow guise. 

The tackle for the steelhead should be an eight-ounce rod 
where the fish can be counted on from seven pounds upwards ; 
if smaller the rod should be graded down. I am assuming that 
the trout angler carries two or three rods ; three-, four-, and eight- 
ounce. I prefer the spUt bamboo, greenheart, or noibwood a 
South American greenheart I think is excellent. Any good 
resilient rod will do the work so long as it has the Uf ting power. 
The line should be an oiled-silk of any size proportionate to the 
fish. The leader, or trace, of gut. The fly depends upon the 
conditions : March Brown for light days ; Eoyal Coachman for 
darker ones. In California Ught days are the rule. If trolling 
or casting with a spoon the cast or leader should be of very fine 
wire with several swivels. 

In angling for steelheads I have found a small rod of my own 
designing very convenient. It is long — eleven feet of greenheart ; 
the reel, a small Hardy with a big guide seated above the grip. 
This, with a rubber pad on the end of the butt, makes the play 
of a ten- or fifteen-pound fish an agreeable diversion. If all the 
fish are large, a small American Vom Hofe trout multiplier is a 
comfort, more or less, to the angler who does not wish the confiict 
to be too prolonged. 

The conscientious angler who visits these streams and fishes 
entirely with a fly wiU be disappointed, and the spoon should be 
tried or the lure advised by the real angler of the locality. It is 
no longer possible to describe any trout as indigenous to a locality 
as, thanks to the skill of the fish culturists and the interest of 
English, American and German authorities, the best trout are 
rapidly being distributed all over the civilized world, where, it is 
to be hoped, they will be conserved and enjoyed by the people at 

Among the trout which soon adapt themselves to almost any 
locality or condition is the rainbow ; hence Europe and Australia 
doubtless have a new sea-trout — the sea-going rainbow. 



One of the most successful flies in my experience is the Kam- 
loops, named after the steelhead of that name by Dr. Jordan. This 
trout is a fine game fish, slender, built on fine lines, and affords 
good sport in the lakes of Kamloops, Okanogan, Kootenai and the 
lakes and rivers tributary to the Eraser in the upper Columbia 
Eiver country. It is doubtless a steelhead changed but slightly 
by its en-vironment. It is a beautiful fish ; a dark rich olive 
above, -with a silvery band reaching a little below the lateral hue, 
where it ends suddenly, or merges into a band of a light roseate 

On the back are spots, not larger than pin heads, scattered 
about, and more abundant near the tail. Like the Beardsley 
trout, and many others, it is a ' spoon ' trout ; that is, it is large 
and powerful and its natural food is not a fly, but fish, mice, or 
any game it can take. It has been taken with a fly, but mostly in 

The record American steelhead of the Field and Stream com- 
petition of 1912 weighed fourteen pounds, was three feet long 
lacking two inches, and had girth of a foot and one-third. It 
was taken by 0. E. Duffield of Medford, who landed it about 
twelve miles up the Eogue Eiver near Williams ranch, using a 
Eogue Eiver gray hackle fly. The second record fish was taken 
by J. M. Hutcheson of Eureka, CaUfomia, on the Bel Eiver, about 
twenty-five mfles from the city. It weighed fourteen poxmds 
and was the same length as the above fish. It was taken with a 
Eoyal Coachman fly. While Mr. Hutcheson was playing the 
fourteen-pounder his companion hooked and landed an eleven- 
poimder. The two anglers landed that afternoon on the Eel 
ten steelheads ranging from three and one-half pounds to four- 
teen ; and thirty-five from one-halE pound to one pound. 

Some of these fish leaped five feet, making dashes of fifty or 
sixty feet as they struck the water on the return. The tackle 
used was six and seven-eighths ounce Leonard split bamboo rods, 
Hardy reels and light gut leaders nine feet in length. The Eel 
Eiver is in Humboldt county, California, and in the month 


of October is the Mecca for many anglers. The river is about 
three hundred feet wide, and the angling is done from boats, the 
anglers stepping ashore when a fish is hooked, playing it from the 
bank. The third prize fish, a four and one-half pounder, was 
taken by Mr. H. O. Phillips of Pasadena, California, on the 
Eio San Buenaventura, the lure a spoon. If the rainbow has 
been successfully introduced into England the steelhand should 
soon be in evidence, giving to Great Britain a new and excep- 
tionally fine game fish, one to rank very near the salmon. 

The steelhead is particularly well adapted for a land-locked 
condition. It retains its fighting qualities, but loses weight, 
averaging about five or six pounds. 

Mr. Alfred Beebe sends me the table on page 298 giving his 
own experience on the Trask Eiver, Oregon, which he has fished 
for many years for cut-throats and steelheads. 



Tillamook Co., Obeqon. 
Cut-thioat and ' Sea ' (Salmon) Trout ; mainly the former. 
Fly Fishing only. 

Thbase Biveb. 

WnsoN RivBE. 









Under Jib. 



00 . 





i-1 lb. . 



'- Xi 





1-li „ 

Z " 






1^2 „ . 







2-2J „ . 



'§ s 





2^3 „ . 

^ lO 







Total . . 








Time . . 







No. of trips 







Av. per trip 







Tiargest Ksh 







Flies . . 

Mainly Jimgle Cock Professor and Jungle Cock 
Coachman, on No. 4 and No. 6 hooks. Also 

Parmacheene BeUe, 

and Black Gnat. 

Remarks. — 

Rivertoo highin 1907, 

A very beautiful 

and several days stormy. 

stream, but now to be 

This stream is heavily 

bimbered its entire 

fished each year. Good 

length. No accommoda- 

accommodations at the 

tions, except too high 

Trask House, 16 miles 

up the river for good 

up the river ' on stage 

fishing. Stage route 

road from N. Yamhill 

from Forest Grove to 

to TiUamook. 

TiUamook runs entire 

length ( 

)f river. 



' Do but fish this stream like an artist and peradventure a good fish may- 
fall to your share.' 

Izaak Walton. 

WHILE these lines were being written, I received from 
Prince Pierre d'Arenberg, President of the Casting 
Club of France, several photographs of himself, kindly taken for 
this volume, showing, as he tells me, the first black bass taken 
with a fly in Prance. This in 1912, yet in 1802 the great authority 
on fish, Lacep^de, described this fish for the first time, and 
had the honour of naming it, Micropterus dolomieu, the first 
term meaning small fin, as that of the fish received was worn 
away, as can be seen in the type specimen still in the Museum 
of Natural History of Paris. The specific name was given in 
honour of M. Dolomieu, the celebrated French savant. 

Doubtless, the original home of the bass was in the Great 
Lake region of America. From here it has migrated and been 
transported to most parts of America, England, France, Australia. 
I have seen it in Southern California in reservoirs, one in par- 
ticular, that in the beautiful place of Judge Silent in the San 
Gabriel Valley, where the fish are so large, plump and tame, and 
rush to the surface with such vivacity for the pieces of meat with 
which they are fed, that it gives the angler an itching palm. 

Most of my black bass days have been spent on the St. 
Lawrence, between Clayton and Alexandria Bay, not so good a 
locality as many ; that is, there were not so many fish to be had. 
The locality is one of the most delightful in America, the maze 
of beautiful islands of all sizes and shapes, filling the wide river, 



always a compensation whether the fish are biting or not. My 
favourite day's fishing was down the river from Westminster 
Park, where the Inn stood in a field of white daisies, to Grenadier 
Island, completely around it. By noon we would have six 
or eight fish, then went ashore, by appointment meeting some 
friend or friends, where our several boatmen would broil bass 
and yellow perch, and serve us a luncheon so fit for the gods 
that I doubt not the envious shade of Lucullus was flitting about 
among the trees. Sometimes we cast into Canada, then we were 
back in American waters in a few moments. Often we hugged 
the Canadian shore, or wandered on among the islands ; or again 
kept to the channel where the water was swift, and where big, 
wolf-like muscallunge, or wall-eyed pike, were supposed to he. 
Not only was the angling delightful here, but the sweet, balmy 
air was like velvet, and possessed a quality peculiarly life and 

The fishing here is entirely from boats, though on certain 
islands one can cast from the rocks or shore. But the bass are 
so widely distributed that this is not productive. This angUng 
has produced, in the course of slow evolution, a boat pecuharly 
adapted to the needs and requirements of the case : a long, low, 
light craft, which has become known as the St. Lawrence skiff. 
She is often built of cedar and copper-fastened, low and swift, and 
of graceful lines. In the stern, and facing it, one behind the other, 
are two comfortable cane-seated chairs, the legs cut off and the 
seat placed on the seat of the boat. Here the anglers sit, one rod 
to the right, the other to the left. The oarsman is just behind the 
anglers, and his arrangements are a study in economics. Beneath 
his seat is a drawer lined with metal to hold the fish. His fiies, 
rods, nets and tackle of various sorts are at hand. The boat 
is immaculate to correspond with the bass, which is esthetic, 
and the bass flies a joy forever. 

So much for the boat and the boatman with his long, light 
spoon oars, but what about the tackle ? I have a longing desire 
to take issue with the good but misguided men who invented 

Fig. 42. Prince Pierre d'Arenberg, President of the Casting Club of France. 
Fishing for Trout in Normandy, near Dieppe. 

1. Normandy Chalk Stream. 2. Keeper Landing the Prince's Trout. 3. Prince 
d'Arenberg. 4. A French Trout Stream, La Varenne. (From photographs taken for 
this work). p. 300. 


some of the monstrosities called artificial baits ; but I control 
the desire, as I have never yet seen any of them. I am going 
to think that the bogies are made only to figure in the catalogues, 
to inspire horror in the rising generation, and like the tools of the 
Inquisition, are to be seen only in the museums to show what 
the heathen once did to the unoffending bass. I refer to the 
torpedo-like wooden lures, lined and covered with hooks, from 
which there is no escape, made for good, misguided, but 
anarchistic anglers. 

The black bass is one of the royal game fishes. He is a hard 
and desperate fighter, never knows that he is cornered ; hence 
should be approached fairly and squarely Avith the disadvantages 
on the side of the angler. In a word, while he will take anything 
at times, from a mouse to a wooden hippopotamus wound with a 
piece of a barbed-wire fence, merely because he is a rough-and- 
tumble fighter, he should be angled for with flies or his natural 
food — live minnows — and really only flies. 

Your tackle for this finest of game fishes, and I have in mind 
Dr. HenshaU, the Dean of the Black Bass Corps, should be a 
split cane, made by the best makers, nine or ten feet long, and 
six inches longer would not do any harm. It should weigh six 
and a half to eight ounces ; be perfectly balanced, and feel right 
in your hand. Dr. HenshaU says seven ounces in split cane, 
and eight if the rod is of ash and lancewood, or ash and bathabara. 
It is in three pieces, and should, to quote HenshaU, lend ' just 
the requisite amount of resUiency for casting, with sufficient 
pUancy and elasticity for playing a fish, and embodying aU the 
power and strength needed.' The mounting should be of German 
sUver, and the line of the best braided sflk, enameUed. The reel 
should be a single-action affair. I have found an BngUsh 
Hardy most exceUent, and I have also used Edwin Vom Hofe's 
trout reel, and there are many others. The only point I make is, 
go to the best dealer in England or America and get the test ; and, 
as a rule, ask the advice of some expert, as your rod must fit 
you in weight, balance, resUiency and other things. Mnety or 



one liundred. feet of line is sufficient for all purposes, and half or a 
third is often quite enough. 

I am going into these matters not so much to tell the would- 
be angler what he should have to go bass fishing, as he already 
knows, and there are books on the subject without number ; 
but the possession of fine tackle is half the game, and always a 
compensation and delight. 

Volumes have been written on flies by men who had no 
thought of the fish to be caught with them. I have, just at this 
point, received a letter from Mr. Graham- White, inviting me to 
fish the Wye with him the next time I am in England ; but the 
real invitation was from the angler's heart, two beautiful salmon 
flies of his own making enclosed. I have never seen or heard of 
a man who could explaia the philosophy, or madness, of it, how a 
little bimch of feathers, or an old rod or an old book of flies can 
charm and delight men who are fed ordinarily on the serious things 
of life. But they do, and I confess so completely to the weakness 
that I keep a fly book not far from my hand ; as my old friend, 
Dr. Eobert Burdette says, it is ' good medicine.' There is a 
special punishment (you will find it in your Dante) for the man 
who sells you poor leaders (traces). They should be from 
three to six feet long. I was so fortunate to meet a gentleman 
in Glasgow who had a ' trace factory ' somewhere in Spain. It 
should stand a test of two pounds, abcording to Henshall, who 
prefers the natural line. The leaders, of course, you keep be- 
tween damp pads when fishing ; and the one you use should be 
soaked and made perfectly pliable. In hooks and other details, 
it is a matter of taste; but I confess to a weakness for the 
O'Shaughnessey shape, a hook not larger than a number four or 
six. The hooks may be eyed, a most convenient arrangement, 
and as for knots, every angler has his^own with other possessions. 

The one great and fundamental question in angling is the fly. 
I fancy Oppian knew all about it ; as least some one did, as the 
oldest anglers of whom we know anything, seem to have inherited 
their knowledge from some one else. Our own Walton filched 


from some earlier Walton, and Juliana Berners had a standard 
of sport high and lofty that will outlast the ages ; I doubt if it 
can be improved upon. 

I have taken more bass in the St. Lawrence Eiver with a 
' St. Patrick ' than with any other fly ; and unquestionably the 
little bass is very freakish ; he prefers something odd and queer, 
as does the salmon. The ' coachman ' is very killing on dark 
days, and on lighter ones, the darker flies — a, rule like the laws 
of the Medes and Persians. The Indians on the Feather Eiver in 
California, I have referred to, with their bunch of feathers 
dangling in the wind, inherited the device from some ancestor. 
They may have gotten it from Theocritus who, two centuries 
before Christ, wrote of ' the bait fallacious suspended from the 
rod ' ; or it may have come down from some ancestor in the 
third century after Christ about which Aelian writes, in his 
De AnimaUum Natura. He is referring to the Macedonians who 
fished the little river Astracus, which runs between Boroca and 

Here is the translation, previously referred to. 

' I have heard of a Macedonian way of catching fish, and it is this. 
Between Boroca and Thessalonica runs a river called the Astracus, and 
in it there are fish with spotted (or speckled) skias ; what the natives 
of the country call them you had better ask the Macedonians,. These 
fish feed on a fiy wMch is pecuHar to the country, and which hovers over 
the rivers. It is not like the flies found elsewhere, nor does it resemble 
a wasp in appearance, nor in shape would one justly describe it a midge 
or bee, yet it has something of each of these. In boldness it is hke a fly, 
in size you might call it a bee ; it imitates the colour of a wasp, and it 
hums like a bee. The natives call it a Hippourus. As these flies seek 
their food over the river, they do not escape the observation of the fish 
swimming below. When, then, a fish observes a fiy hovering above, it 
swims quietly up, fearing to agitate the water lest it should scare away its 
prey ; then, coming up by its own shadow, it opens its jaws and gulps 
down the fly, hke a woU carrying off sheep from the farmyard ; having 
done this, it withdraws under the rippling water. Now, though the 
fishermen know of this, they do not use these flies at aU for bait for the 
fish ; for, if a man's hand touch them, they lose their colour, their wings 
decay, and they become unfit for food for the fish. For this reason they 



have nothing to do Tvith them, hating them for their bad character ; but 
they have planned a snare for the fish, and get the better of them by their 
fisherman's craft. They fasten red (crimson red) wool romid a hook, and 
fit on to the wool two feathers which grew under a cock's wattles, and 
which in colour are hke wax. Their rod is six feet long, and the line is 
of the same length. Then they throw their snare, and the fish attracted 
and maddened by the colour, comes up, thinking to get a dainty mouthful ; 
when, however, it opens its jaws, it is caught by the hook and enjoys a 
bitter repast, a captive.' 

This is the first mention, I think, of the Eed heckle in 
literature, and referred to in the well-known lines from ' ZS'orth 
Country Garlands.' 

' The Bonny Red Heckle. 

' Away frae the smoke an' the smother ! 

Away frae the crush o' the thrang ! 
Away frae the labour an' pother 

That has fettered our freedom sae lang ! 
Tor the May's i' fuU bloom i' the hedges 

And the laverock's aloft i' the blue. 
An' the south wind sings low i' the sedges, 

By haughs that are sUvery wi' dew. 
Up, angler, off wi' each shackle ! 

Up, gad an' gaff, an' awa' ! 
Cry, " Hurrah for the canny red heckle. 

The heckle that tackled them a' ! " 

' We'U see if the Shaperton lasses 

Are winsome, as in our young days — 
If they'U rin to the ringin' o' glasses. 

Or the hit o' the auld merry lays. 
Oh, we'U shake off the years wi' our laughter, 

We'll wash out om: wrinkles wi' dew — 
An' reckless o' what may come after, 

We'll revel in boyhood anew ! 
Up, angler, off wi' each shackle ! 

Up, gad an' gaff, an' awa' ! 
Cry, " Hurrah for the canny red heckle. 

The heckle that tackled them a' ! " ' j 


Fig. 43. 

Black Bass and Wall-Eyed Pike. Thousand Islands, St. Lawrence, Canada. Caught 
by De Forest Fairchild. p. 304. 


'Then back to the smoke and the smother, 

The uproar an' crush o' the thrang ; 
An' back to the labour an' pother. 

But happy and hearty and strong. 
Wi' a braw hght o' mountain and muirland. 

Out-flashing frae forehead and e'e, 
Wi' a blessing flung back to the norland. 

An' a thousand, dear Coquet, to thee ! 
As again we resume the auld shackle. 

Our gad an' ga£E stowed awa'. 
An' — good-bye to the canny "red heckle," 

The heckle that tackled them a' ! ' 

The following flies are favourites in America : — ^Parmacheene 
BeUe, Silver Doctor, the Hackles, Seth Green, Lord Baltimore,. 
Eoyal Coachman, March Brown, Scarlet Ibis, Cherry, Montreal,, 
Professor, White MOler, Golden Dustman, the Henshall, Horicon,^ 
the Bead, Premier and many more. 

There is no better demonstration that angling is not all in the 
catch than the delights of retrospection. Equipped with the 
proper rod, reel, Une, flies, the angler is prepared to forage in the 
realms of the bass ; and thanks to the fact that the fish habitu- 
ates itself to almost any and all conditions, bass' may be found 
in many and unexpected places. 

There may be no actual angling, but then the angler turns- 
to his tackle, his book of flies, his rods, and with some boon com- 
panion over good cigar and pipe, lives over the scenes of the 

' Call to mind the summer day, 
The early harvest morning. 
The sky with sun and clouds at play. 
And flowers with breezes blowing.' 

As to the methods, there are the deKghts of wading and casting^ 
in a beautiful river like the Delaware, or from a skiff, with all the 
esthetic comforts, on the St. Lawrence, and I confess to have 
enjoyed this the most. I believe my boatman, Bill Massey, 
knew every stone and rock in the river, as he could always fore- 

20 305 


cast a rise. The method is to row slowly along and troll with a 
live minnow on a fly, or with a fly, or cast when doing the latter. 
We drift slowly along shore, forty or fifty feet from it, casting 
with one fly in shore into the little bays, and especially over 
rocks just submerged. The boatman rows very slowly. Suddenly 
the line straightens out, you strike on the instant, the tip 
of the rod bends a second, and up into the air in the centre of a 
miniature maelstrom rises the game. He stands on his tail and 
dances a wild rigadoon, throws open mouth and gills, and at- 
tempts to toss the hook and bunch of feathers into the air, fails, 
drops with a smash and makes a clean rush for some point of 
vantage, jerking at the line again and again. Then, as he is 
forced to the surface, he goes into the air once more, and again, 
to repeat the performance. If the water is cool and there is 
current enough to give this bass exercise : in other words, if the 
bass is in good condition, he continues to fight, and there is no 
evidence of giving up or surrender, he is simply out-fought by 
the resilient rod, and slowly comes to the net — ^in the language of 
the boatman is ' taken in out of the wet.' 

If the bass are not taking a fly, we use live bait, a golden-hued 
minnow which is hooked through the lips and trolled fifty or more 
feet astern — ^a deadly process. 

Some of the most delightful bass fishing I have had was in 
the Canadian lakes, hanging in the lulls from one to two thousand 
feet above the river, where the surroundings are exquisite, and 
the bass big and difficult to take. At beautiful, Lac Perchaud, 
my canoeman looked with wonder at my patience, casting all one 
moriung, trying different flies, with no rises. It was merely 
that I had not told him, that I enjoyed casting in such a beautiful 
spot as well as landing fish. Every time I cast I placed my fly 
in the vermilion reflections of the autumnal foUage, a blaze of 
colour in the deep green of the spruce, that grew to the water's 
edge. I often found the bass feeding in the tules, an impossible 
place to cast ; and they took many flies before I landed a three 
and a half pounder. 


There are two species of bass, the small-mouth and the big- 
mouth. The latter is generally considered easier to take and 
not as hard a fighter. But if a small-mouth bass is taken in a lake, 
where the water is warm, he is a sluggish fish. Give each fish 
the same and the best conditions, cold water and some current, 
and there is but little difference, at least in my experience. The 
large-mouth resembles the small-mouth, and has Salmoides as 
a specific name. He is bigger, his mouth is larger, and his lower 
jaw protrudes more. He has a wider range than the small- 
mouth, and now can be taken in many parts of Europe from 
France to Eussia, and far to the south. In Florida this fish 
attains colossal size ; bass weighing twenty-five pounds having 
been taken with bait, and Dr. Henshall took a fourteen-pounder 
With a fly. In the north, an eight-pound big-mouth is rare. It 
forms a little nest on gravelly or sandy bottom, or if the water 
is deep, on weeds floating at the surface. I have seen a bass so 
devoted to its nest that it paid little or no attention to me, and 
would dash at a stick I thrust into the water. 

There are a score of fresh^-water fishes in American waters that 
could be included as game fishes but which I have not space to 
describe. The squaw fish, or the ' king of the minnows,' will rise 
to a fiy, and attains a length of four feet, but is not much of a 
fighter. The so-called ' white salmon ' of the Colorado (Pty- 
cocheilus lucius) is the giant of the Cyprinidae. Specimens have 
been taken in the Salton Sea and Colorado Eiver five feet long and 
weighing seventy and eighty pounds. It is not a salmon, though 
this name adheres to it. The Horny-head (Hyiopsis) is a hard 
fighter, but a member of the minnow tribe, as is the mighty 
tarpon a herring. The Eocky Mountain whitefish {Coregonus), 
from Western North America, is considered game. It is about 
one foot in length and weighs four pounds. It will take bait. 
It is one of the most delicious of fishes to eat. Another, the 
Broad whitefish of British Columbia, the Yukon, and elsewhere, 
attains a weight of thirty pounds and is reported to be a gallant 
fighter in Alaska. 



In the Soutli the croppie (Pomoxis) is considered a game fish and 
a great delicacy. It is difficult to catch on a light rod on account 
of its delicate mouth. The calico-bass {Pomouds) will rise to a 
fly and is taken in Indiana trolling. The little sunflsh is the game 
fish of childhood in all America. The pest of the black bass angler, 
the rock bass, is distinguished for its patent anxiety to be caught. 
The blue-gUl simfish {Lepomus paUidus) is taken with a float, and 
is the most promising of the tribe, making a vigorous play on the 
lightest of tackle. The little pumpkin-seed is the joy of boy- 
hood. In the Great Lake region and the Mississippi Valley is 
found a fine little game fish, the white bass {Boccus Chrysops)^ 
It haunts the deep waters of the' lake, in the home of the lake trout 
possibly. It bears some resemblance to the striped bass, but is 
shorter and possesses a high hump. The yeUow bass {Morone 
interrupta) adds another game fish to the army found in America. 
It is confined to the lower valley of the Mississippi and Northern 
Indiana. It attains a length of nearly two feet and a maximum 
weight of six pounds. It fights well and is an excellent table 
fish. The sauger {Stizostedion eanadense) has its admirers as a 
game fish. It is caught, by trolling from the St. Lawrence to the 
Great Lakes west to Montana and south to Arkansas. This 
fish belongs to the large class whose pugnacity is lauded where 
it is supreme, but neglected in the land of the black bass, trout, 
and wall-eyed pike. 

The white perch {Morone americana) is a game little fish 
ranging from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Georgia, and appears 
to be at home in salt, fresh or brackish water. It wiU take a 
fly or a minnow, appearing to be willing to acconomodate itself to 
almost any condition. 

' Nor let the muse, ia her award of fame, 
Illustrious Perch, uimoticed pass thy claim, 
Prince of the prickly cohort, bred in lakes. 
To feast our boards, what sapid boneless flakes 
Thy solid flesh supplies ! though overfed, 



No daintier fish in ocean's pastures bred, 
Swims thy compeer.' 


One of the largest of American fresh-water fishes, which I 
have Tainly attempted to catch, is the fresh- water drum or 
Gaspergou {Aplodinotus grunniens). I have seen it in the New 
Orleans market, and it reaches a length of four feet and a weight 
of one hundred pounds. I am told it makes an extraordinary 
resistance. It is found in the Great Lakes of America. In the 
Ohio it is the perch ; in the rivers of Louisiana the drum. 




' For dere's no place lak our own place, din't care de far you're goin' 
Dat's w'at de whole worl's sayin', w'enever dey come here, 
'Cos we got de fines' contree, an' de beeges' reever flowin' 
An' le bon Dieu sen' de sunshine nearly twelve mont' ev'ry year.' 

Dr. Dnmvmond. 

FEOM the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Canadian line north, 
there is what can be described as an angler's paradise, and 
one can say this without being suspected of having contributed to 
contumelious fiction. For many years I fished the beautiful Eiver 
St. Lawrence, with its thousand islands, that becomes a sea before 
it reaches the Atlantic, and which gives us the splendid fjord of the 
Saguenay and countless rivers and streams, telling of sea trout, 
salmon, black bass, muscallunge, ounaniche, wall-eyed pike, red 
trout and many more. In troUing for muscallunge or bass on 
the St. Lawrence, I was in, and out, and across the Canadian 
line time and again, without knowing it. 

An adequate description of the charms of this region from 
Clayton east to Tadousac, the region I know the best, would 
require a volume in itself 5 but I wish to refer to one feature 
rarely mentioned, owing to the fact that the scenic attractions 
are pre-eminent. This is the remarkable health-giving quality 
of the St. Lawrence and Canadian air. The spring of eternal 
youth may have been in Florida in the time of De Soto ; but 
it is in the Canadian woods and the Adirondacks now, and the 
region from the Eiver north for several hundred miles is, with 
its balmy air, to my mind at least, one of the great ' cures ' of the 
world. I recommend it to worn out and weary anglers and busy 


All eastern Canada is coTered ■with a fine forest and filled with, 
beautiful lakes, which are so connected by ' carries ' and brooks, 
streams and rivers, that the angler can lay out innumerable tours, 
in as many lake and river systems, and cover hundreds of nules- 
in the heart of the primeval forest, absolutely away from civiliza- 
tion ; yet at all times be able to reach Montreal, Quebec or New 
York in a few hours, or in a remarkably short period. 

The region in Quebec north of Montreal one hundred nules is 
particularly interesting, as here there are many angling clubs, as. 
the Shewinegan and the Laurentian Clubs. The latter's pre- 
serve may be taken as an illustration. It covers many square 
mUes to the north of Montreal, embracing a maze of lakes, streams, 
brooks and forests, many of the former known only to the guides. 
Some idea may be had of the country when I say that Mr. George 
A. Weber, who has a seventy square mile preserve, last year found 
two large lakes, the existence of which he did not suspect ; and the 
year before when I was fishing with him, we discovered a charm- 
ing lake abounding in game brook trout, which I had the pleasure 
of naming Lac Weber. It is essentially a region of lakes. Going 
north by train, one comes to Lac Perchaud, on which is ' Sana 
Souci,' the summer home of Mr. Weber, on the edge of the 
primeval forest. From here a carry of half a mile brings one 
to Lac la P§che, on which is the attractive Laurentian Club 
House. Here the angler secures his guide, canoe and provisions, 
and starts north, fishing lake after lake as he comes to it, passing 
three or four, coming at night to the first branch of the Club where 
comfortable quarters and a good chef await him. Here one can 
rest and fish, then move on north, repeating the experience. There 
are several attractive clubs luring the angler on, and on, into the 
land of the moose and trout. If he keeps on to the northeast 
he comes to other clubs and to Lake St. John, the home of the 
ounaniche, and the fine rivers which run into the Saguenay, the 
home of the salmon. 

On down to Quebec we may go finding numerous lakes and 
streams, and in the lower St. Lawrence too many rivers to 



mention, abounding in trout and salmon. On the south shore 
Tre find the EimousM, Grand Metis, Matane, St. Anne des Monts, 
Mont Louis, Madeleine, Dartmouth, York, St. John du Sud, 
Grand, Grand Pabos. On the north shore are the following} 
the Bergeronnes, Escoumain, Portneuf, one hundred and forty- 
six miles from Quebec ; Bersamis, La Val, Betsiamite, Outarde, 
Manicouagan, Mistassini, Godbout and Trinity, two himdred 
and seventy-six miles from Quebec ; Calumet, St. Margaret, and 
we are now three hundred and forty miles from Quebec ; Moisie, 
Trout Eiver, Sheldrake, Magpie, and St. John du I>ford, which is 
the boundary between Canada and Labrador that Dr, Grenfel 
has made famous ; Mingan, four hundred and sixty-fiTe nules 
from Quebec; Eomaine, Watsheeshoo, Pashasheboo, Nabesipi, 
Agwanus, and Grand l^atashquan. This river is nearly six 
hundred miles from Quebec, and was famous as a salmon stream 
fifty, yes, a thousand years ago. From its clear waters, four 
anglers once took two hundred and two salmon in a week. The 
Kegashka, Musquarro, Napitippi, Washecootai, Olomanosheebo, 
Coacoaco, Mecattina, Ha-Ha, St. Augustine and finally Esqui- 
maux Eiver, seven hundred and twenty rcules from Quebec, all 
are more or less famous as salmon rivers. 

There is a great difference in these rivers, and they are in 
active demand, if not leased or fished by the owners. Some idea 
can be had of the number of salmon, by the following. A few 
years ago the Montagnais Indians, who fished the Bersimis, had 
their annual feast. Forty-seven canoes took part in a spearing 
contest, and nine hundred salmon, weighing eighteen thousand 
pounds were speared in one nigJit. 

The catch of some of the rivers is as foUows : the St. John's, 
the property of Mr. J. J. Hill, the Western Eaalroad President, 
gave in one year to five rods four hundred and sixteen salmon, 
weighing four thousand seven hundred and fifty-five pounds, 
taken between June 23 and July 18. One rod took twenty- 
iour in a day. Sixteen days on the Moisie produced one hundred 
and thirty-eight salmon, weighing two thousand four himdred 


and thirteen pounds, the average seventeen pounds. One rod 
took twenty in one day, others fourteen, eleven, twelve, eleven, 
fourteen, thirteen, eleven, thirteen. The longest fish was forty- 
six inches and weighed thirty-five pounds. Trout Eiver was 
fished by Mr. Charles Stewart Davidson of New York from June 
20 to July 16 ; result, twenty-nine salmon, weighing three 
hundred and eighty-eight pounds. Mr. Napoleon Comeau, the 
keeper of the Godbout for many years, gives a record of this 
stream for fifty years from 1859 to 1908 ; a few of the seasons 
are as follows : — 


No. of Rods. 

No. of Fish. 


1864 .... 



1,518 lb. 

1865 .... 



4,690 „ 

1868 .... 



3,066 ,. 

1872 .... 



2,346 „ 

1874 .... 



2,000 „ 

After the party left the Godbout this last year, Mr. Comeau 
fished the river, and on July 7 took fifty-seven salmon, weigh- 
ing six hundred and thirty-four pounds ; on July 10, twenty- 
five ; on July 11, thirty-four ; on July 13, forty ; July 14, twenty- 
five fish, weight two hundred and fifty-three ; on July 16, thirty- 
seven salmon; on July 20, twenty-seven; on July 22, twenty ; 
making a total of three hundred and sixty salmon for one rod, 
with a weight of three thousand eight hundred and thirty- 
two pounds in eighteen days' rod fishing. In 1875 three rods 
in ten days killed one hundred and seventy-seven fish. In 
1907 the rod catch was four hundred and sixteen fish, weight 
four thousand six hundred and forty-three pounds. In 1908 
the score was three hundred and eighty-seven salmon, weigh- 
ing four thousand three hundred and eighty-nine pounds. 

These few scores show the river to be a remarkable one. In 
these dulcet salmon streams trout prevail, and they are enemies 



of the salmon, as is well shown by Mr. Comeau. In preparing 
and improving these salmon streams Mr. Comeau hauled the 
seine for trout in the pools, where they were eating the salmon 
spawn and young. His average catch was two thousand pounds 
of trout a year with a giU-net ; but in one haul of the seine, he 
took from this greatest of American salmon rivers, trout to the 
amount of three thousand four hxmdred pounds. 

Labrador is now the Mecca of many salmon anglers from the 
United States, as ^Norway appeals to British anglers. Com- 
modious steamers run from Boston to Yarmouth, iSTova Scotia, 
then via North Sydney to Port Aux Basque, ^Newfoundland, the 
trip taking about two and a half days. The Little Codroy is an 
exceptionally fine salmon river with beautiful reaches and fine 
scenery. Big John Pool, Dead Man's Pool, Kid's Eun, Seven 
Mile Pool, Five MUe Pool, are reminiscent of ten or twenty 

Salmon rods are much the same everywhere, though some 
Americans use a lighter rod than the typical salmon rod of 
England, with which I had my first experience on the Tweed, 
at the Edinburgh Salmon Club. I was amazed that I could 
place my fly across the beautiful river. Mr. Comeau mentions 
Jock Scott, Silver Doctor, Silver Gray, Dorian Eanger, Fairy, 
Donkey, and a white or yellowish fly for late evening. The 
temperature of the water in the St. Lawrence Eiver is an import- 
ant factor ; about sixty degrees Fahrenheit is good, but under 
or above that means poor fishing. Long casting is not necessary, 
forty feiet being an average, and the fly should be cast down- 
stream at an angle of forty-five degrees. In the matter of time, 
on these St. Lawrence Elvers, the best for good luck comes between 
seven and ten o'clock in the morning, and from three until too 
dark to cast. 

The study of the Eastern salmon is interesting. Mr. Comeau 
states that in the middle of May a vast school moves in from the 
Atlantic ; one school goes to the north shore, and one to the 
south. The former divides somewhere near Anticosti Island ; one 


part going eastward toward tlie Strait of Belle Isle, the other 
moving west up the St. Lawrence, where as soon as the ice and 
snow is out of the river, or about June 10, they enter and go up 
the rivers to spawn. They swim about the estuaries a while, as 
though to become habituated to the fresh water ; then slowly 
move up, the run ending by July 30. During the beginning of 
the run, while they are in the ocean, they do not travel at night, 
lying near the bottom at this time, moving on as the sun rises, 
and at a rate of not over five miles a day. When they enter the 
rivers, this is reversed almost entirely. They travel at night, 
but stiU move slowly. They spawn at the source of rivers, where 
pure water and gravelly beds can be had, and a good current. 
When these salmon enter the rivers, they are in the finest con- 
dition, silvery in appearance and their flesh pink ; but they 
rapidly deteriorate, and .by October are slate-coloured and thin, 
the males with hooked jaws. On the Pacific coast, the salmon 
die. Here they do not, and many pass the winter in the rivers 
and lakes, and are known as kelts and Hngards (laggards). 
There is good reason to believe that the great schools live during 
the winter not far from the entrance of the great river up which 
they move in the spring. 

The eggs of the salmon are hatched in the spring and the 
young salmon are known as parr. They remain in the rivers for 
about two years, going down about the third spring, now known 
as smolt. The sea paints them a silvery hue, and they become 
grilse ; and from this stage their development or growth is very 
rapid, their physical development being often complete in the 
grilse stage. 

Up to the moment of entering the river, these St. Lawrence 
salmon eat a variety of fishes, but chiefly capHn ; but when they 
enter the river, fat, and in good condition, and begin to move 
toward the spawning ground, they do not eat, but they wiU take 
a fly or a spoon. Why they take a fly is not known, but it is 
impossible for an animal to forget the habit of eating so suddenly ; 
hence, while physically they do not feel the need of food, the habit 



remains and they take a fly or spoon, and before they can eject 
it are hooked. Ex-Senator George Edmunds told me that he 
saw a salmon rise to a nut that fell from a tree, just as it would 
to a fly, and eject it. 

The Saguenay is a weird, deep, uncanny fjord of great interest. 
I journeyed up by its rocky ramparts to Chicoutimi, in search 
of ouananiche at Lake St. John, and if I did not get it, I feasted my 
eyes on the big, tame salmon at Tadousac, and the white whales 
that drifted about like patches of pure white cotton. 

I can but suggest the delights of the upper Saguenay, and the 
game little land-locked salmon, known as Ouananiche, Salmo 
salar ouananiche, of the joys of which Dr. Henry Van Dyke told 
me, and of which he has lovingly written : ' But the prince of the 
pool was the fighting Ouananiche ; the Little salmon of St. John. 
Here let me chant thy praise, thou noblest and most high- 
minded fish, the cleanest feeder, the merriest liver, the loftiest 
leaper and the bravest warrior of all creatures that swim ! Thy 
cousin, the trout, in his purple and gold with crimson spots, wears 
a more splendid armour than thy russet and silver mottled with 
black, but thine is the kinglier nature.' 

Labrador, Anticosti, Newfoundland, the angling joys of which 
were discussed years ago by the dean of American anglers, Mr. 
Charles HaUock, are now open to the people. In the great state 
of Maine are the Eangeley Lakes, and in New Brunswick and 
Nova Scotia many charming spots, with big game waiting. 

The rivers of Nova Scotia are famous for salmon or trout or 
both. Some are Middle Eiver, Cape Breton, Brazil Lake, 
Lakes Eossignol, Kejimikugik, the Medway and Mersey rivers ; 
and at Mira Bay, St. Ann and Cape Breton is the home of the 
horse mackerel, from eight hundred to one thousand pounds, the 
same fish known as the tuna on the CaUfornian coast. 

In New Brunswick we have the Eestigouche, and its principal 
tributary is the Metapedia and TJpsalquitch, the home of the 
famous Eestigouche Salmon Club. Other salmon and trout 
rivers and lakes here are Charles, Jacquet rivers, Palfrey Lake, 


Bathurst Lake, Miramiclu Eiver and many more, tlie very 
names of which recall by-gone delights with the rod to hundreds 
of Englishmen and Americans who for years have fished these 
glorious rivers and lakes. 

Going west and crossing the Ottawa Eiver, we come to the 
Province of Ontiario, a magnificent angling region with rivers, 
lakes and streams without end. The Gatineau lakes, Pemachonga, 
Thirty-one Mile Lake, White Fish Lake are all famous in the 
annals of sport for its bass, muscallunge, pickerel, dor6 and trout. 

I can but mention a few of the fine lakes of Ontario which 
have a lure for the angler : Lake Nipissing, Lake Temagaming, the 
Black, Steel and Kenogami rivers, Kawartha and Eideau lakes, 
and Georgian Bay. The scenery in Algonquin National Park, 
Ontario, is extremely beautiful, and the fly fishing in such rivers 
as the Madawaska a delight to the angler. The park is not as 
well known as it should be, lying north of Toronto and north-east 
of the Muskoka Lakes, an angler's paradise oi a million and a half 
acres, for which Canadian anglers are indebted to the Hon. 
Arthur S. Hardy. The Park Gateway is Cache Lake, one of 
hundreds in this play-ground of Canada, one of the finest trout 
preserves in the world. 

The angler in his Canadian trip should not fail to visit the 
country north of Toronto between Georgian Bay and the Ottawa 
Eiver, Muskoka and other lakes and streams in the highlands of 
Ontario. Here are two high lakes and three systems or groups 
of many lakes, Simcoe, Georgian Bay, Severn Eiver, French 
Eiver, Kawarth Lakes, the Lake of Bays, Muskoka and its Falls 
of Bola, Lake Joseph, Eosseau and countless others, with varied 
angling interests, the mere consideration of which would fill 
volumes. One turns from them with regret, Magnetewan, Burkes 
Falls, Lake Ohmie, Wa-Wa-Kesh and many more. 

Pushing into the west, the angler reaches the region of the 
Canadian Eockies, a wonderland of the world, with Bamf and 
Lake Louise as central attractions. Beautiful and countless 
lakes and streams commend themselves to the angler and 



sportsman througli this region. He may continue west to the 
coast, and find at Vancouver with its fine climate, a charming 
region abounding in trout, salmon, and on the way to Alaska, 
salmon, grayling, trout and big game of various kinds await, 
which reminds me that this is a description of game fishes, and 
not of the localities in which they are foimd, a fascination hard to 
resist, and important in the make-up of angling. 

The Kootenay Lakes of British Columbia, previously referred 
to, afford fine angling, where the country with its snow-capped 
mountains is a solace, if the fish are not rising. Some idea of the 
fishing here can be obtained from the statement of L. G. Mathews 
of Cardston, Alberta, who, in a river connecting the upper and 
lower lake, took from a single pool (three rods) sixty-three trout, 
which weighed two hundred and fifty-one pounds. In 1912 he 
landed thirty that weighed sixty-eight pounds. 

The clubs and anglers have done much in Canada to conserve 
the angling. Mr. George A. Weber, of Stamford, ISew York, 
and Pasadena, California, has one of the most beautiful preserves 
in Canada, embracing seventy square miles of countless streams 
and lakes in the province of Quebec, one hundred miles north 
of Montreal, in the country loved by Dr. Drummond. His 
home " camp " is Sans Souci, on Lac Perchaud in the Laurentian 
Club chain, but Mr. Weber owns most of the lake and can travel 
by canoe and 'portage all summer and not leave his own particular 
angling paradise. En passant, he is without a peer as a clever 
fly caster. I spent the summer of 1910 in this wonderland, 
where Eubald and Philarum Juneau, and other famous canoe- 
men, make life worth the living. 




' Amongst all your quaint readings, did you ever light upon Walton's 
Complete Angler ? ' 

Charles Lamb to Coleridge. 

CHAELES HALLOCK, Dean of the American Anglers, whose 
trout rod and reel of fifty years ago, hangs in a place of 
honour in the Tuna Club, wrote many years since in the 
American Angler : 

' No fulsome titles do I court, 
Science holds no bribe for me, 
Slavery for those who love it. 
From nomenclature leave me free, 
Yet they call me Salvehnus, 
Can you fancy sin more heinous ? ' 

The brook-trout had been known as Sdlmo fontinalis, being so 
named by Dr. Mitchell in 1814 ; but science had decided upon 
Salvelinus fontinalis, and the famous poem was the protest 
from the anglers, whom the veteran and distinguished angler, 
who brought the Michigan grayling to the attention of Agassiz, 
represented. The brook trout is the indigenous trout of the 
Atlantic Coast States, and is a charr ; a fish that, doubtless, has 
brought more joy and deHght to the weary soul of man than 
any other animated! golace. Compared to the rainbow, the charr, 
as it should be called, presents a striking appearance and is as 
attractive and beautiful in its way. It is decorated with red spots 
surrounded by whitish or gray circles, and possibly the most 
striking feature is the dazzling white streak and colours on the 
edge of the lower fins. The scales are very small and appear 



embedded in the skin ; so small indeed tliat not a few anglers 
•vdll teU yon the brook trout is scaleless. 

' One trout scale on the scales I'll lay, 
(If trout had scales) and 'twill outweigh 
The wrong side of the balance.' 


The brook-trout, Salmo fontinalis, the prince of Eastern 
American game fishes, impresses one that he lives in clear, cold, 
wild waters. He is trim and well groomed, his colours brilliant 
and distinct. He is always on parade, alert, quick of motion, 
and a veritable joy to the real angler, who has fair play, not 
murder in his heart. 

In the United States many of the most beautiful streams and 
brooks are devoted to brook-trout, which has a wide range from 
weU north in Canada, to Northern Georgia. All the species are 
entrancingly beautiEul, and on light rods they prove themselves 
fighters of the first quality, I recall a sotdful little stream I 
frequently fished in sight of the White Mountains in Vermont, 
where the old homestead of a branch of my family stood on a 
lofty hill affording a fine view for miles, down a long deep vaUey, 
with Mount Washington on the eastern horizon. The Little 
trout stream wound down from the hills into the valley, and was a 
virtual tunnel, elms, beach and willow covering it, and shutting 
out the sun except here, and there, where vagrant rays broke in, 
on which the gnats danced in long sinuous lines. The sides 
were lined with brakes and ferns, the great boulders covered with 
a tapesrry of rich green moss that yras a profanation to disturb. 

Every few yards there was a diminutive pool in which were 
many brook-trout waiting for the lure, which, owing to the gloom, 
was generally a Eoyal Coachman. Often I merely crept up 
to the edge and watched them rise at the leaves which sailed 
down and along Uke mimic ships. They were little trout for 
little people, and the children of my kinsmen had fished this 
dainty stream nearly two centuries. 

Fig. 44. Angling in Canada. 

1. Mrs. Holder landing a Black Bass in Lake Pechaud, " Sans Souci," Quebec. 2. The 
Author Returning from a Trouting (Brook Trout) Expedition from Lake Weber, Quebec. 
3. Pike from Lake Wapizzagonk, Quebec, near the Laurentian Club. p. 320. 


My largest brook-trout is a two and a half pounder, and this is 
perhaps above the average. In brooks it ranges from six to 
eight inches in length, and from a few ounces up to three pounds ; 
in rare cases six or more pounds. 

The brook-trout is at home in the charming lakes of Quebec, 
especially in the chain'of lakes in the preserve of the Laurentian 
Club on Lac la P§che. Here appears to be a typical fontinalis, 
and particularly in the splendid preserve of my friend Mr. George 
A. Weber there are, unquestionably, several varieties. This 
preserve is about one hundred miles north of Montreal in a 
country abounding in lakes, with an area of seventy-five square 
miles. One day we discovered a new lake, which I named 
Weber, after my host. I fished the entire lake with every fly 
and lure I could think of, with no result ; then one of our party 
in another canoe uttered a shout, and my canoemen, Tom and 
George Cadarette, rounded me up at a little point to become a 
participant in a wonderful angling symposium. 

All the brook-trout in that lake had apparently collected 
about a spring, in water possibly ten feet deep, and they seemingly 
covered the bottom in a solid mass. The moment a fly dropped 
upon the water, up they came, little meteors reversed, taking 
the lure and going down without stopping. My men paddled 
the canoe back about thirty feet and I began casting, hooking a 
trout at almost every rise, using of course one fly. We could, 
literally, have fiUed the canoe, but took only sufficient for our 
camp wants, and passed on to other joys and lakes in this splendid 
region, which is typical of much of the province of Quebec. 

Trout angling in any land is one of the joys of life. From 
early times it has been the pleasure of studious men, an art 
and an exact science. Volumes have been written on its ethics 
and philosophy, and to hundreds of men it is the breaking of a 
law of morality, as binding as that of the Medes and Persians, 
to approach a trout with anything but one fly, and a barbless 
hook. It requires some temerity to break this. I am a strong 
adherent of the fly ; in fact, I go so far as to say I should Uke 

21 321 


to see a law passed preventing anything but fly fishing for trout. 
I am extremely fond of casting, and this, to me, is a compensa- 
tion if I do not have a rise. But there are times when trout 
refuse to take a fly. I have cast for hours with many and varied 
flies without results, but I generally attributed it to my own lack 
of sMU. There are occasions, as when trout are absolutely needed, 
when the angler is justified in using a plain one-hook spoon, 
worm bait, or live bait. The salmon of the Pacific Coast, 
except in very rare and isolated instances will not take a fly; 
a spoon, or live bait must be used. At Klamath the very large 
rainbows wiU often refuse anything but live bait or a spoon. 
There is among anglers a very high standard and a demiand for 
fair play ; a demand that the angler must not overreach the 
gallant game with some of the awful ' contraptions ' with hooks 
innumerable and colours resplendent, forced on the verdant 
and innocent angler by inventors with a Dor6 imagination. 

At the Laurentian Club, with its magnificent chain of lakes, 
one cannot use a spoon, and many of the members never fish 
with more than one fly and the barbless hook. The trout lover 
is a true nature lover. He is not out for slaughter. He enjoys 
angling as a study. He has, perhaps, been working on a new 
fly in the Fly Fishers Club ' fly room ' on Piccadilly, and is 
out to study the results. He notes the condition of the water 
and pools, the habits of the trout, morning, noon and at night. 
He knows what it feeds on, and what insects are expected in 
every month. He can tell you about the winds and thunder- 
storms, rain and fog, and their effect upon the trout, and what 
flies to use imder any condition, and that it is not all in the fishing 
is suggested. 

In canoeing in the lakes of Canada, especially one that himg 
in the hills Hke a crystal, I found in many a quiet nook masses 
of haJf-submerged branches, which I at first took for the work of a 
beaver, but investigation showed that it was a shelter carefully 
arranged by some good friend of brook-trout so that they could 
spawn in the necessary seclusion. In New England the charrs 


spawn from October to April, more or less, during which period 
they are protected by law. The hatching period depends upon 
the temperature. Mr. Ainsworth's experiments showed that if 
the water temperature was thirty-seven degrees the eggs would 
hatch in one hundred and sixty-five days ; one hundred and three 
at forty-one degrees ; eighty-one days at forty-four degrees ; 
forty-seven days at fifty degrees ; and thirty-two days at fifty- 
four degrees. Seth Green found that if the temperature was 
fifty degrees, the eggs would hatch in fifty days, each degree, 
warmer or colder, making five days either way. When the young 
appear they are attached to the yolk from thirty to eighty days, 
and from now on they increase in a ratio to the food supply- 
Thus in two years a well nurtured fish wiU weigh a pound ; a 
poorly nurtured fish from the same brood half an ounce. 
Ainsworth observations showed that yearlings weighed two 
ounces ; two year old fish a quarter of a pound ; three year old 
fish a half pound ; four year old fish a pound. This for domestic 

In the wild state under the most favourable conditions the 
increase is much greater. A Eangeley Lake charr, which was 
tagged by Mr. George S. Page in 1871, gained two pounds in 
two years. Charrs are mature in from one to two years. The 
nesting habits of the brook-trout are most interesting, and are 
well described by Mr. James W. Miles as follows : 

' His whole wooing is the most polite attention and the gentlest of 
persuasions. He moves continually to and fro before his mate parading 
his bright colours, while she rests quietly, with her head up stream, vibra- 
ting her fins just sufl&ciently to keep her from floating down. At Water- 
viUe, Wisconsin, I had the opportunity of watching their habits. A pair 
of large trout had selected a spot near the bank of the stream, where 
the water was about ten inches deep. The female had fanned the 
gravel with her tail and anal fin until it was clean and white, and had 
succeeded in excavating a cavity. They were frightened away as I came 
to the edge of the bank. Concealing myself behind a willow bush, I 
watched their movements. The male returned first, reconnoitering the 
vicinity, and, satisf jdng himself that the coast was clear, spent a half 
hour in endeavouring to coax the female to enter the nest. She resting, 



half concealed in the weeds, a few feet away, seemed unwilling to be con- 
vinced that the danger was gone ; and he, in his full, bright colours, 
sailed backward and forward from the nest to his mate, rubbing himself 
against her, and swimming off again in a wide circle close along the bank, 
as if to show her how far he could venture without finding danger. She 
finally entered the nest.' 

The golden trout of Sunapee is a beautiful charr. Its back 
is a rich olive or brown, the belly flashing with tints and shades 
of pink, orange or red, the dominant note being orange or gold, 
especially in the male when in his nuptial garb. As a fly taker 
this charr is disappointiag, but it is taken with a spoon and live 
bait, and more often in deep water which it affects. The angler 
who has taken the European charr wiU note'a marked resemblance, 
and Mr. Garman believes that it is merely an immigrant, the off- 
spring of the Ombre Chevalier {8. alpinus), which has been im- 
ported and introduced ihto American waters, and which is the 
common trout of England, Switzerland, Germany and the Scan- 
dinavian peninsula. 

The golden trout of Sunapee, which must not be confused 
with the golden trout of the High Sierras, affords no little sport, 
according to Dr. Quackenbos, and as I have not taken it, I quote 
his description : 

' The Sunapee saibling takes live bait readily, preferring a cast 
smelt in spring, when it pursues the spawning Osmerus to the shores. As 
far as is known, it does not rise to the fly, either at this season, or when on 
the shoals in autumn. Through the summer months it is angled for with 
a live minnow or smelt, in sixty or seventy feet of water, over cold bottom, 
in localities that have been baited. While the smelt are inshore, troUing 
with a light fly -rod and fine tackle, either with a Skinner fluted spoon, 
number one, or a smaU smelt on a single hook, will sometimes yield superb 
sport, as the game qualities of the white trout are estimated to be double 
those of fontinalig. 

' The most exhilarating amusement to be had with this charr, after 
the first hot June days, is in trolling from a sailboat with a greenheart 
tarpon rod, three hundred feet of copper wire of the smallest caUbre on a 
heavy tarpon reel, and attached to this a six-foot braided leader with a 
Buell's spinner, or a five minnow on a stiff gang. The weight of the wire 
sinks the bait to the requisite depth. When the sailboat is running across 


Fig. 45. Taking tlie Giant Ray. 

Different Views of the Giant Ray (Manta Manta), taken by The Hon. C. G. Conn, Member of 
the Tuna Club, in the Gulf of California. 

1 . Side View. 2. Crew of Mr. Conn's Yacht Trying to Land the Fish. 3. Ventral View, 
Showing Gills. 4. Mr. Conn. 5. Back View, Showing Claspers. 6. Side View. p. 324'. 


the -wind at the maximum of her speed, the sensation experienced by 
the strike of a four-or five-pound fish bankrupts all description. A strong 
hne under such a tension would part at the instant ; but the ductility of the 
wire averts this accident, and the man at the reel end of the rod experiences 
a characteristic ' give,' quickly followed by the dead-weight strain of the 
frenzied Salmonoid. To land a fish thjis struck implies much greater 
patience and skUl than a successful battle, under similar circumstances 
with a five-ounce six-strip and delicate tackle. The pleasure is largely 
concentrated in the strike, and the perception of a big fish ' fast.' The 
watchfulness and labour involved in the subsequent struggle border 
closely on the confines of pain. The ductile wire is an essentially different 
means from a taut sUk line. The fish holds the coign of vantage ; when 
he stands back and with buU-dog pertinacity wrenches savagely at the 
phable metal — ^when he rises to the surface in a despairing leap for his 
life — the angler is at his mercy. But, brother of the sleave-silk and 
tinsel, when at last you gaze upon your captive lying asphyxiated on the 
surface, a synthesis of qualities that make a perfect fish — ^when you disen- 
gage him from the meshes of the net, and place his icy figure in your 
outstretched palms, and watch the tropaeoHn glow of his awakening tones 
soften into cream tints, and the cream tints pale into the pearl of the 
moonstone, as the muscles of respiration grow feebler and more irregular 
in their contraction — ^you wiU experience a peculiar thrill that the capture 
neither of ouananiche, nor fontinalis, nor namaycush can ever excite. 
It is this after-glow of pleasure, this delight of contemplation and specula- 
tion, of which the scientific angler never wearies, that lends a charm 
all its own to the pursuit of the Alpine trout.' 

This author, who has made a study of this trout, thus de- 
scribes its nuptial tints : 

' As the October pairing time approaches, the Sunapee fish becomes 
illuminated with the flushes of maturing passion. The steel-green mantle 
of the back and shoulders now seem to dissolve into a veil of amethyst, 
through which the daffodil spot of mid-summer gleam out in points of 
flame, while below the lateral fine all is dazzling orange. The fins catch 
the hue of adjacent parts, and pectoral, ventral, anal, and lower lobe of 
caudal, are marked with a lustrous white band. 

' It is a unique experience to watch this American saibhng spawning 
on the Sunapee shallows. Here in all the magnificence of their nuptial 
decoration flash schools of painted beauties, circling in proud sweeps 
about the submerged boulders they would select as the scenes of their 
loves — ^the poetry of an epithalamium in every motion — ^in one direction, 
uncovering to the simbeams in amorous leaps their golden-tinctured sides, 



gemmed with the fire of rubies ; in another, darting in Uttle companies, 
the pencilled margins of their fins seeming to trail behind them Uke white 
ribbons under the ripples. There are conspicuous differences in intensity 
of general coloration, and the gaudy dyes of the milter are tempered in the 
spawner to a dead-lustre cadmium cream or ohve chrome, with opal spots. 
The wedding garment nature has given to this charr is unparagoned. 
Those who have seen the bridal march of the glistening hordes, in all their 
glory of colour and majesty of action, pronounce it a spectacle never to be 

In Dublin Pond, ISew Hampshire, is found a charr, S. agassizi, 
which from its colour is named the gray trout. It has few if any 
red spots and is an interesting little fish. I have taken the brook- 
trout, fontinalis, in California in the head waters of Feather 
Eiver, but it had been introduced, there being but one charr on 
the Pacific coast, the Dolly Varden, S. malma, almost a replica of 
fontinalis. Its home is to the west of the Eocky Mountains, 
where the sun drops into the night, in the clear streams of 
Northern California, Oregon, and Washington, and far north to 
British Columbia, Alaska, and even in Kamchatka and the 
Kurile Islands. 

In the north it appears to have taken to the sea, and in Puget 
Sound and Alaska grows to a large size, specimens weighing ten 
pounds having been taken. It appears to be a fontinalis, but 
long and slender, in shape resembling a steelhead. It has red 
spots on the back and side, but not the marbUngs and blotches 
of the fontinalis, and also its game qualities. It is despised by the 
Alaskans as it devours the eggs of the salmon. 

The Dolly Varden obtained its name in the following way : 
Dr. Jordan and Professor Spencer F. Baird were at Soda Springs, 
Mount Shasta, on the Sacramento, when a beautiful specimen of 
this trout was brought in, glowing with colours. The landlady, 
struck Tvith its charms, said, ' Why, it's a regular Dolly Varden ! ' 
Professor Baird said to Dr. Jordan, ' Why not call it the Dolly 
Varden trout ? ' So Dolly Varden it is, and a very good name, 
and the fish one of the best of the charrs. 

The Dolly Varden may be taken in the McCloud and the 


various tributaries of the Sacramento. One of the sights of the 
tourist at Soda Springs is the feeding of the Dolly Vardens. 
Whether the train stops that the trout may be fed, or whether the 
fish are fed to divert the passengers, I do not know, but an old 
Chinaman is always on hand with some finely chopped meat 
which he deals out to the trout at the station fountain where they 
are confined to enthuse the angler. These Dolly Vardens are 
absolutely tame and will eat from the hand. In a hotel at Santa 
Cruz, California, I made the acquaintance of a number of tame 
trout some years ago. They would leap from the water and take 
a fly from my fingers — ^I mean a real fly, and their owner professed 
to know the individuals. One particularly allowed him to take 
it out of the water without protest. There are no more interest- 
ing pets than the charrs. 

The Dolly Varden, which suggests Mr. Tappertit, is the sea- 
trout of the North Pacific, as fontinalis is the sea-trout of 
the Atlantic seaboard, and not to be confused with the sea-trout, 
weakfish. Dolly Varden is also called the bull-trout, Oregon 
charr, red-spotted trout, Malma, Golet, and as many more names 
in as many places. While an enemy of the salmon, it is a game 
fish of high degree, taking a fly with avidity. A number eight 
hook, March Brown, Kamloops, Dun fly, and Eoyal Coachman 
are recommended. This is also true in the ocean as in the rivers, 
though it takes the fly more readily in the latter. 

The Dolly Varden charr varies as to weight to an extraordin- 
ary degree. In fresh- water streams or lakes, as the Pend d'Oreille, 
it may weigh six or seven ounces, but at the entrance to the Alas- 
kan rivers ten pounders are taken. The Dolly Varden is now a 
sea- trout and one of the great game fishes of the northern seas. 
Jordan says, ' It is game and vigorous, takes the hook freely, 
with a fiy or insect, a salmon egg, or a scarlet petal of some moun- 
tain flower. . . . It is a good food fish. In Kamchatka the Dolly 
Varden is baked in pies, deep pies like those sold in English eating- 
houses, and in that form is surely good.' 

We find the charr in the far north represented by the Arctic 



charr, 8. arcturus, common in Lake Victoria in latitude eighty- 
two degrees. Its back is green, the belly silver with reddish 
tints. In Greenland there is another charr, S. stagnalis, a ralu- 
able fish that attains a length of two feet. In the ocean it is 
gleaming silver with all the beauties of a steelhead ; but in the 
rivers it is dark green, its sides ornamented with pale pink 
spots. Its lower fins are a vivid pink, the upper ones green, 
while over the sides and back are irregular green streaks. 

In America there are innumerable forest regions, wild and 
beautiful, famed for their lakes, rivers and streams, abounding in 
charrs, so near New York or the great cities that they can be 
reached with ease and celerity. An angler can leave New York 
in the morning and find himself in the heart of the Adirondacks 
at night, these splendid mountains being but eight hours distant. 
The mountains range from the Canada line, or near it, south to 
the Mohawk river, or one hundred and twenty miles, and from 
the shores of lakes George and Champlain, west, eighty miles, 
affording the angler and sportsman a splendid park of ten thou- 
sand square miles in which are five parallel ranges of mountains, 
many of the peaks being from thirty-five hundred to five thousand 
feet in height. This region abounds in charming lakes stocked 
with various varieties of trout, where I have fished when nearly 
the entire region was a virgin wilderness. Here are over one 
thousand lakes of aU sizes up to twenty square nules. Some 
of the most famous are Schroon, ' Tear of the Clouds ' Lake, in 
which rises the Hudson, Eaquette, Saranac, Ausable, Placid, 
St. Eegis, Blue Mountain, Long, Eoimd, Tupper, Loon, Eainbow, 
and many more lakes, rivers and brooks. No more delightful 
memories are recalled than when casting a fly in some of these 
lakes, or crossing the carries, my guide with canoe on his back, 
to stop to watch a bear or deer. I witnessed the first 
tragedy on one of these lakes — ^the launching of a power boat, 
considered a crime, deep dyed, a desecration. 

In the fine Eangeley Lakes of Maine is found an interesting 
charr, Salvelintis oquassa. The lakes are famous in America, and 


stand in New England as prototypes of the beautiful Adirondack 
group in New York. They hang in the hiUs of Maine like emer- 
alds in a deeper emerald setting, from twelve hundred to fifteen 
hundred feet above the Atlantic, covering an area of possibly 
eighty square nules. They are also known as the Androscroggin 
Lakes. They number sixty or more. Eanglely Lake or Lake 
Oquossoc is about nine miles long, the forests about it uncon- 
taminated, an outdoor man's paradise. Nearly as large is Lake 
Mooselucmaguntic. Among the smaller lakes are Cupsuptic, Lake 
MoUychunkamunk, five miles long, Lake Welokenebacook, which 
you may call Lower Eichardson if the Indian name is a menace. 
This attractive lake is narrow, but five miles in length. Not far 
away is Lake Umbagog from which the white peaks of the White 
Mountains of New Hampshire are seen, where Mount Washington 
rears its peak six thousand feet in air, the dominant note of the 
most beautiful part of New England. Half a mile above the sea 
and thirty miles distant, is Lake Parmacheenee, from which the 
American fl[y Parmacheenee Belle was named. Not connected 
with the above, but the largest lake in Maine, is Moosehead Lake, 
thirty-five miles long, from one to fifteen miles wide, and with 
over four hundred miles of shore ; a splendid sheet of water 
abounding in trout, while in the forests are caribou, deer, moose, 
ruffled grouse and other game. All these lakes abound in camps 
and clubs, and the angler has every convenience. He might be 
thousands of nules from civilization, so primitive are the fine 
forests, so uncontaminated the country in its depths ; yet the 
great eastern cities, and Montreal and Quebec can be reached 
in a few hours. 

The Blueback trout, or Eangeley Lake trout, Salvelinus 
oguassa, rarely grows larger than twelve inches ; is long, slender 
and very graceful, and has a forked taU, caUing to mind that of 
the Japanese hucho. Its back is bluish-black ; the head small, 
and the red, black, and yellow ' spots ' are vivid and found mainly 
on the sides of the body. This charr is believed to be more hardy 
than fontinalis. Their spawning habits are similar to those 



of the brook-trout, but living in the large lakes, they afEect the 
habit of lake-trout and take to deep water during the greater 
part of the year. On the approach of the spring season they 
move in large numbers from Lake Oquassa, from which they 
take their specific name, to the Kennebago Eiver. The spawning 
season over, they return to Oquassa Lake, and on the fifteenth 
of iN'ovember, sooner or later, as the case may be, they go to 
Lake Moosellokmaguntic, remaining there until the following 
October. As a game fish they rank far below fontinalis, in 
which are centered all the elements of a great game fish. 

I can mention only a few of the most beautiful spots for trout 
fishing in Eastern America, as they are legion. The Alleghanies, 
Blue Eidge, Green Moimtaias, Cumberland ranges — ^aU abound 
in streams the home of the charr, Lake George, the rivers, lakes 
and streams of Western New York along the Erie railroad, the 
Delaware and its tributaries, the maze of streams in the heart 
of Pennsylvania, Pike county, the Cheat Eiver in West Virginia, 
Blackwater, Seneca Creek, Laurel, Gode, Fish and many more, 
and the beautiful vaUey of the Juniata. In ITorth Carolina 
there are attractive charr streams — ^the Toe Eiver, Cranberry 
Creek, Elk, Linville, New Eiver, rising in a region of mountains, 
as Pisgah, Table mountain. Smoky, Bald, and Cold Mountains. 

From here you may follow the brook trout into Tennessee, 
and fish the Shenandoah and the Sweetwater branch of the East 
Tennessee. The streams of the CatskiUs, CatsMU Creek, are 
charming regions where I have taken the charr among rocks 
that bristled with the trilobites and crinoid stems of a seashore 
of a million years ago. The various charrs have been so univer- 
sally introduced, and are found in such unexpected places, as 
my taking one when casting for rainbows in Feather Eiver, 
California, that one is often confused, if not skilled in the science of 
Ichthyology. I have taken trout which I was positive were 
fontinalis in the lakes of Canada, fifty or one hundred miles north 
of Montreal and Quebec, and I am confident there are several 
species ; but, in all probability, they could be referred to the Lac 


de Mabre or Marston trout, 8. marstoni, of Lac de Mabre. I took 
a two and one-half pounder in Lac Edouard of the Laurentian 
Club chain that was, apparently, a typical fontinaUs, and in Lac 
Weber another charr, that, while like fontinalis, was still different. 

The home of the red-trout, according to my guide, was in a 
lake farther to the north. All these Canadian charrs, and I took 
a number, were splendid game, hard fighters. I can wish the 
British angler no better luck than to spend a summer in these 
Canadian lakes, the land of trout, bear and moose, scarcely a 
week from London by the St. Lawrence route. 

The true lake trouts are weU represented by a charr, the 
Great Lake trout, Mackinaw trout, ' lunge,' and by other names, 
as it is the great lake trout of the region from ]S"ew Brunswick 
and Maine west to Vancouver and into Alaska, Hudson Bay, 
and Labrador. It is also found in the Yukon. To science it is 
Cristivomer namycusJi. Instead of red spots, it has gray ones> 
and it bears a close resemblance in shape and form to many of 
the small charrs. But here the resemblance ceases, as this charr 
is a giant. It attains a length of several feet, and specimens 
weighing over one hundred pounds have been hauled up with 
various instruments of torture from the depths of the great lakes 
ofjAmerica, some of which are nets five miles long, which take 
from four to five tons of these charrs at a haul. The fish is taken 
by anglers trolling with a spoon or a minnow. 

' The generous gushing of the springs. 
When the angler goes a trolling ; 
The stir of song and summer's wings. 
The line which shines, and life which sings. 
Make earth replete with happy things 
When the angler goes a troUing.' 

Thomas Tod Stoddart. 

Another lake trout is the Siscowet (0. siscowet), found in the 
deep waters of Lake Superior, lakes Huron and Erie. 



' Hugest of all fishes in the sea. 
For they were formed by heaven's great king, 
Before all other earthly thing.' 

The Voyage of St. Brandon (Mediaeval). 

DOUBTLESS it requires a stretch of the imagination to 
include the rays among the game fishes, and I will concede 
them to be on the fringe of the aristocracy of the fishes and not 
common subjects of piscatorial eclogues. My reason for in- 
cluding them, is that the weird bat-like creatures are among the 
most powerful of fishes, and when played with rod and reel, often 
gives the angler a surprising fight, which in any other fish would 
result in encomiums and much praise. 

But in some way, in some quarters, the rays are looked upon 
as vermin and classed with sharks. It is not advisable to draw 
the Une too closely, especially in sea angling, as in certain localities 
there may be a dearth of typical edible game fishes, when the 
rays, skates, and their tribe save the day for the angler. 

I have had some exciting hours with various rays in the 
Tropics, and have always found them fishes of extraordinary 
strength, vitality and other qualities, which in other forms go 
to make up what is known as a game fish. In all probability, 
the ray or flat fish, which wiU make the most impression on the 
angler is the torpedo. I have heard of men beiag knocked 
down by them in IsTew England, and a ray I attempted to lift in 
Italian waters gave me a shock which I still remember with 
interest but not satisfaction. I believe I once hooked one of 
these living batteries at Laguna Beach, in Southern Cabfornia, 

B'lg. 46. A South African Kabeljou. 

A 57-1-Pound Fish taken on a 6f-Ounce Diamond-Ribbed Rod. 

(Ptioto by W. Breeton 
p. 332. 


where the wind whispers soft and low. I certainly experienced 
a peculiar shock, but the fish never stopped, I fancy it is still 
going, I have felt the same something when holding a big jack 
by the tail in Florida. 

In Florida there are a number of rays that are particularly 
designed by Kature to worry the angler who hooks them. They 
are btrd-lLke in the general shape of the long graceful wings or 
fins, and the pectoral fins are employed very much like the wing 
of a bird, up and down, embodying the so-called poetry of motion. 
I recall no more graceful object than the whiparee of the Tortugas 
reef, coming fljdng along over the pure white sand, so bird-bke, 
that I always thought of a shadow and intuitively looked up- 
ward to see what great bird was flying overhead — ^peKcan or 
man-of-war hawk. 

The typical sting ray or whiparee here was black, about five 
feet wide,"with long side wing-hke fins, streaming out behind a 
tail three or four feet in length and about the size of a whip in 
use and efEect. That the tail was a weapon seemed evident, 
but I never saw it used. The real weapons of the ray were three 
long serrated pointed darts or ' stings ' just above the base of the 
tail, one above the other, the lower being the longest. With these 
the fish can strike in some way a vicious blow. On one occasion a 
companion who was sitting in the bow of the boat with legs 
overboard, was cut in some way directly across the instep, each 
spine leaving a deep jagged wound cut to the bone. I was poling 
the dinghy along with a grain or spear pole, graining crayfish, 
and succeeded in killing the ray and securing its knives as trophies. 
This fish when speared put up an extraordinary fight, towing 
us around half an hour. When I brought it up by hauling on 
the cord we did much dodging to escape the flying tail, not directed 
at us, but whirled about during the gyrations of the fish. 

On this growing seeming atoll, which was about four by ten 
miles square and near Long Key, formed by it and Bush Key 
and a long submerged reef, there was a beautiful lagoon a quarter 
of a mile wide at the upper end, or less, gradually widening and 



deepening as it extended south, where the wreck of a large ship 
marked its limit, then making a turn to the west it cidminated 
in Bush Key. A large part of this was but two or three feet in 
depth at low tide and covered with groves of branch coral — a, 
radiant marine forest ia rich ohve tints — cut by winding channels 
through which I could walk or swim or scull my boat. The 
entire north end of the lagoon was of clear white sand with here 
and there patches of a low algae which gave shelter to various 
shells and at night was the browsing-ground of a multitudinous 
host of crayfishes. Every day I sailed, rowed or poled my light 
boat over this dreamland of the sea as here were the ' gulfs 
enchanted.' At times, ia extraordinary tides, the tops of all 
the corals were exposed and the long barrier of dead coral rock 
was seen. It was a delight to go out, shod in thick wading shoes 
impervious to the jagged coral heads, and walk over it. Every 
rock was the home of countless strange and often beautiful ani- 
mals. Here the brown coTvrie made its home, the scarlet fan 
shell, and myriads of worms which vied with the flowers in the 
beauty of their breathing organs. Groves of vivid yellow gor- 
gonias were within reach, some garbed in lavender, others like 
the pltmies of the ostrich of a deep velvet-like brown, all pre- 
senting a scene challenging the brush of the painter, or the verse 
of the poet to describe their beauty. 

This ianer lagoon with the white floor could be reached by 
channels from various sides, and for some reason was a favourite 
feeding ground of the fishes. On dark nights we frequently had 
a crew of negroes row us out, or I would drift on the lagoon ia 
my own boat and watch the dark forms of strange fishes change 
the calm sea into a seething caldron of light, due to the presence 
in the warm water of hosts of phosphorescent NoctUucae and jelly- 
fishes of infinite variety. 

At such times the stiag rays of several varieties, and occasion- 
ally the great manta, the colossus of the tribe, came in. 
One of the latter leaped so near our boat one night that we beat 
a precipitous retreat. A ton or two of animated manta would 


have made short work of a boat. The black whip ray and a 
beautifully spotted eagle ray were the chief visitors, and whether 
in play or in battle they were constantly jumping and falling, 
their broad shapes striking the water with a report Kke that 
of a cannon, a sound that would go reverberating away over 
the reef to be repeated by others, the sounds coming like echoes. 
Such nights were often hot, as it was in latitude of the Tropic 
of Cancer, and the Southern Cross was just looking over the hori- 
zon ; but the heat was tempered by soft, gentle night winds. 
We frequently fished for sharks at night, or any big game on the 
edge of the channel, and played them from the shining sands 
of Long Key. It was not a difficult matter to hook a ray, 
day or night. Baited with a mullet or some equally succulent 
game, the line would be taken, sooner or later, and often by a 
stingaree, when we would jump into a boat, and let the game tow 
us away. 

With a sixteen-ounce rod the spotted eagle ray wUl give the 
angler a contest that is worthy of the name and at times prove 
itself to be conqueror, leaping into the air repeatedly, coming down 
with a startling crash to dash along, a weird and ghostly shadow, 
to come up again and involve the angler in a maze of convolu- 
tions often, at least here, to his undoing. The water was shallow, 
rarely over four or five feet deep ; hence the manoeuvres were 
always visible during day fishing. 

I think the most exciting method of taking the large rays 
is to grain them. The Florida grains is a two-pronged barbed 
spear like a IJ, which fits over the pointed end of a pole and is 
attached to a long cord. I used a light dinghy, and sculling 
with my left hand, holding the grain pole in my right, could steal 
up on the big eagle rays and take them. I have frequently been 
jerked off the deck ofjmy little boat when pla3dng the eagle ray, 
or thrown over into the shallow water as the powerful fish would 
turn suddenly. Of all the rays this Aetoibatis narmari is the most 
attractive, owing to its spots. 

In fishing for channel-bass just inside the pass at Aransas, 



Texas, about one hundred miles south of Galveston, an eagle ray 
of large size jumped near us, went four or five feet into the air 
and nearly landed in the boat. At Tortugas I once jerked a 
large moray into my boat, and in a tew moments it had, accident- 
ally or otherwise, chased me overboard. I think if this eagle 
of the sea had landed in the boat I should have taken to the water 
without discussion. 

In California there are several rays which make a good fight 
when hooked. One resembles the eagle ray, but is black, with a 
white under surface and a lash-like tail which is elevated at an 
angle of forty-five degrees when the ray is resting on the bottom. 
I have played individuals which weighed forty or fifty pounds, 
and concede them to be hard fighters, easily tiring out a tyro 
with a rod or hand-hue. The objection to them aU is, they are 
useless, not edible. 

The king of the ray tribe is the great Manta birostris, the 
devil-fish, or sea-devil, fairly common in Florida and the Gulf 
and on the Pacific side up to Santa OataUna, where one specimen 
has been seen. Taking a manta is like shooting an elephant or 
a rhinoceros. It is fishing of the most strenuous kind, and can 
be compared only to whaling, as the fish is taken with the grains 
or larger harpoon. So many stories are told regarding the terrible 
nature of this fish that it is difficult to separate truth from fiction ; 
but it can be said that it is merely a giant ray, often twenty, 
and doubtless thirty feet across, weighing possibly a ton in large 
individuals. It is a harmless creature when left undisturbed, 
and even when attacked is dangerous only in that it can tow ten 
or twenty boats out to sea unless killed, and a blow of its extra- 
ordinary ' wings ' is sufficient to kill a man and crush a small boat. 
Its very size and clumsiness make it dangerous. I can conceive 
of nothing more interesting than to see this wonderful fish swim- 
ming, the personification of grace. It is shaped very much like 
the eagle ray, the tail being shorter and stouter. The really 
extraordinary features are the two fin-Uke claspers at the mouth 
which, doubtless, are used to wave food into it. 


Fifty years ago, chasing this fish in rowboats, harpooning it and 
allowing it to tow the boat for miles, was the sport of sports of 
the wealthy planters on the coast of South Carolina. Every year 
dozens were killed amid much excitement. The fish is fairly 
common from Tampa down, and my father once saw a large school 
at Tampa Bay saUing around and around in a great circle. 
At Tortugas a large one picked up the anchor of a schooner by 
running against the chain, and towed the vessel out of the harbour 
— a feat that has been duplicated several times in other localities. 
A friend took several mantas near the mouth of the Mississippi 
and sent me his photograph sitting in the mouth of one of the 
monsters. I have had some interesting experiences, if being towed 
about counts for sport. At St. Petersburg, Fla., boats have been 
built Like catamarans, by members of the Tarpon Club, especially" 
for this sport, and a number of mantas taken with exciting acces- 
sories. At the Tarpon Club, Aransas, a manta was harpooned 
some years ago that did not appear annoyed at towing fourteen 

The most extraordinary experience I know of with a large 
manta is that of the Hon. C. G. Conn of the Tuna Club, in Mexico. 
He harpooned the enormous fish, which after towing him about, 
settled on the bottom, but not before it threatened to haul a 
launch under water. Mr. Conn made a most gallant and danger- 
ous fight with this fish, but at the end of a long-continued battle 
he could not move it or pull it to the surface. The battle was 
made from a twenty-foot gasoline launch, but to end it Mr. Conn 
hailed his seventy-ton steam yacht, passed the rope aboard and 
by this means started the fish and brought it to the surface, 
kUling it after the pluckiest fight on record with so large a fish. 
Mr. Conn's fish is shown in various positions in the accom- 
panying illustrations. The name of the Cahfornia sea-devil is 
Manta hamiltoni. 

The dimensions of this extraordinary fish, for which I am 
indebted to Mr. Conn, are as follows : depth, two feet six inches ; 
weight, one ton four hundred and fifty-two pounds ; width across 

22 337 


the back from tip to tip of the fins, ' -wings,' twenty feet. Actual 
length of the -wings, &ve feet five inches. Width of the mouth, 
two feet nine inches. Across the head from eye to eye, five feet ; 
from base of the tail to mouth, eleven feet eight inches. Length 
•of tail, six feet six inches. The fish literally weighed two thou- 
sand six hundred and fifty-four pounds ; was twenty feet broad, 
a,nd about nineteen feet long, which, doubtless, gives Mr. Conn 
a record which -wHl stand a long while on the records of the Tuna 

In the Mediterranean and in European waters an equally 
.^gantic devU-ray is found, Mobula edentula. Another species, 
M. Jiypostoma, is known from Brazil, and one equally large from 
Japan, M. japonica, where it is sometimes brought in and gener- 
ally eaten by the Japanese. The manta -will not appeal to the 
angler, but harpooning and graining is an art and a most inter- 
•esting one ; one requiring, if the game is large, no little sMU, 
cleverness and good judgment. Graining a ray or a sa-wflsh 
is productive of excitement in all its variety. The sa-wfish up 
to six hundred pounds has been taken by Mr. Edwin Vom Hofe 
with tuna tackle — a remarkable catch. As I -write these lines 
my mind reverts to a duel I once had with a sawfish ten or more 
:feet long. I grained it and was towed about for some time, but 
finally, -with the aid of a companion got alongside. I have a -vivid 
picture before me of the big fish rearing up, practically stand- 
ing upright, wa-ving its deadly saw up and do-wn, then dri-vtng 
it into my cedar boat imtil the ivory pins broke off, suggestive 
of what might happen. It is sufficient to say that when this 
occurred I dropped into the bottom of the boat and laid low, 
while my dusky companion stood not on the order of going, but 
•dived overboard. In the confusion the sawfish broke the grain- 
line and swam away, much to my relief. 




' By the way, old Cotton's instructions, by which I hoped to qualify myself 
for the gentle society of anglers, are not worth a farthing for this meridian.' 


IN the enormous coast-line of Africa the angler may expect 
to find a variety of possibilities, and he will not be disap* 
pointed, as there are in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, the Eed 
and Mediterranean Seas prototypes of all the great game fishes 
of the world : the tnnas, bonitos, great crevall^, ponderous repre- 
sentatives of the sea-bass, white and black sharks of all kinds, 
the black grouper, and off Madagascar, one of the most wonder- 
ful of all the swordfishes, the sailflsh, the resplendent dorsal fin 
of which opens up like a sail, and is painted all the colours of 
the rainbow. It is more like some radiant tapestry than a fin, 
to be folded up and stowed away, or elevated at pleasure. 

I passed Tangier one wishful day, but have never fished there. 
There are fishes to be had — ^wrasse, bass, red and gray mullet, 
and offshore is the highway of the tunny and swordfish. In 
Morocco you may go to the Wad Tensift and angle for barbel. 

The greatest tunny fishery in the world is found not far off 
the North African coast. Its rivers abound in strange fish of 
stranger habit, yet with all the wealth of material there is less 
attention paid to angling than in almost any other region of the 
world. Fishes are caught, but with very little idea of sport, 
except where Englishmen are stationed at the various ports. 
In Natal there are fishing clubs, and the inherent love of sport 
crops out ; but the coast at Natal is not a particularly happy one for 



angling, due to the fact that the land has few beaches. The deep 
water comes suddenly, and the angler is forced to cast from the 
rocks into the surf, or into deeper water, or go out into the rougher 
water from the pier. Surf fishing is very popular here, as it is 
on the long sloping beaches of California, where hundreds of 
anglers angle and cast for the fine surf fishes of these regions. 
In 'Nsbtal there are a number of casting teams, which lq 1908 
competed for the Mcholas challenge cup, the anglers coming 
from the south coast, Durban and other locaUties. The teams 
in that competition were named after the fishes angled for : 
the ' Benders,' a large rod-bending fish ; the ' Crackers,' a big 
mussel-eating sheepshead-like fish ; and the ' Springers,' named 
for a leaping fish, calling to mind the ten-pounder of Florida or the 
lady-fish {Elops saurus). The competition here was most ex- 
citing, some fishing at night, and landing a most interesting 
assortment of fish, among which was a variety of white sea-bass, 
known in Natal as salmon-bass {Sciaena), which tipped the scales 
at seventy-five pounds, the so-called shad (Temnodon), not to 
speak of skates, sharks and other game. The sand-shark here of 
twenty pounds is highly appreciated for its hard fighting pro- 

The game fishes of B'atal include the barracuda, the kingfish, 
which attains a weight of over two hundred pounds, and is 
taken trolling with a live bait. The Cape salmon, though not a 
salmon, but of the white-fish group, is esteemed by some. Then 
there is the grunt, which ranges up to twenty pounds, and the 
mullet, which is taken by the natives with floats and a paste lure. 
The rock-cod of from ten to seventy pounds is a good fighter. 
Here, too, is a bream, a white fish with a yellow stripe along the 

One would hardly expect to find American rainbow trout 
in Central Africa ; but, according to Mr. William Wheeler, they 
have been introduced at Zomba, the fish having grown eight 
ounces in eight months, proving themselves weU adapted to the 
rivers. Brown trout are also to be introduced. 


In all probability, the best or most satisfactory big sea-fish, 
from the angler's point of view, is the gigantic white sea-bass, 
to use the California term, as it is of the same family, but known 
in Africa as Kabeljou. It makes an extraordinary fight on 
tuna tackle, though it is often taken with very heavy rods and 
the enormous reels (winches) used by some of the African anglers. 
One of the largest of these fishes was taken in 1911 by Mr. Breeton 
Todd of St. Johns, Pondoland, South Africa. The fish was 
. nearly six feet in length, yet was taken on a six and three-quarter 
ounce steel-ribbed trout rod in an hour's play. It weighed 
fifty-seven and one-half pounds. 

One of the most attractive streams of New South Wales is 
the Goodbarragandra in the Thumut District. There is good 
bass fishing in the coastal streams of the south coast with a fly. 
This is particularly true of the Kk,ngaroo Eiver where members 
■of the New South Wales Eod Fishers Society fish. This club, 
of which Dr. A. J. Brady, of Sydney, is president, is doing yeo- 
man's service in seeing that streams are stocked and a high 
standard of sport maintained. Mr. J. E. Patterson; fished the 
WollondiUy Eiver and had excellent fly fishing for bass, taking 
fish up to four and a haU pounds, while Mr. H. J. Soloman took 
many in the BrindabeUa. New trout streams have been developed 
lately by members of this club, as the Upper Tumut, the Upper 
Snowy, the Lower Snowy near Bobundra. Good bass streams 
are the Turos near Bodalla, Upper Nepean, Grose Eiver, Wan- 
drawandian, Middle Harbour, Cowan Creek, and others. The 
Snowy Eiver has been stocked Avith Macquarie or Murrumbidgee 

The rivers and streams of New South Wales afford excellent 
sport and the Eod Fishers Society, of which the Earl of Dudley, 
late Governor General, is patron, has done excellent work in 
improving the fisheries and exalting the sport. Among the 
good streams are the WiUiams, Hunter, Paterson, Nepean and 
many more, mentioned in the Trout Fishers Directory and Map 
used by the Club. Other good streams are the Big Badja, the 



Tumut, and the stretch from the Junction, of Jonnama Creek to 
seven or eight miles below the Budlong Falls, according to the 
report of the Club, abounds in trout. 

It is a remarkable fact that New Zealand, a beautiful country 
with abundant water, splendid streams, had practically no game 
fishes when originally discovered. It is now well stocked : 
salmon and Loch Leven trout from England, and many American 
fishes including the rainbow, Chinook salmon, brook trout, white- 
fish, sock-eye salmon, Sabago Lake salmon, Mackinaw trout, 
lake herring and catfish. The rainbow trout has been particu- 
larly successful, specimens weighing twenty pounds having been 
caught ; these from a little stream running into Lake Tarawera. 
They are abundant in Lakes Eolorua and Eotoiti. The Chinook 
now spawns in the Hakatar river, and anglers have taken the 
Chinook at the mouth of the Waitaki Eiver. An interesting 
fact was developed here. The eggs of chinook were from winter 
run salmon in the^IJnited States, and so far, in New Zealand there 
has been no summer run. Mr. Agson, inspector of fisheries 
for New Zealand, says : 

' The value of the introduction of these foreign fresh-water fishes into 
New Zealand waters cannot be estimated. Formerly it was a country 
where rivers and lakes were devoid of fresh-water fish of any value ; now 
they are teeming with fish of the finest quahty for sport and food. AH 
this has been attained partly by the perseverance of our own people and 
by the generous assistance given our Government by the United Statea 
Bureau of Fisheries and its officers, in supplying any fish eggs required.' 

New Zealand has a great future as an angling paradise. It 
has five thousand miles of sea coast, and it is difficult to travel a* 
nule without finding a stream, most of which are rivers fed from 
glaciers, hence never dry. There are countless lakes and 
chains of them, capable of supplying fresh-water fishes of all 

In Sydney, Australia, the sea anglers of the various clubs, 
one of which is the Kuriwa, have sport with a large bream-Uke 
fish called the Schnapper, which resembles a Florida reef porgy, 



one of wliicli I caught of such size that he had a conToy of twO' 
or three remoras that undoubtedly thought it was a shark. The 
Sydney schnapper also resembles one of the red snappers of 
Florida, and is taken in the Gulf of Mexico in just about the same 
manner. He looks Like the schnapper and is just as red, but 
has not the large hump of the Austrahan red bream. The anglers 
go offshore at night at times and, according to Mr. Aflalo, in 
whose delightful Salt of my Life I find the account of his own 
experience, have a sort of tournament. The fishing is at Botany 
Bay, beginning at daybreak, about a mile from shore. Each 
angler has a station, chalked off on deck, and at the word the- 
secretary fires a pistol and the sport is on, the red schnappers 
beginning to come in just as I have hauled up the red snapper 
from the deep holes of the Gulf of Mexico a few nules off East 
Key. The same hand-line tackle is employed, rods being no 
aid in such sport, though the bass anglers of iN^ew York, who go 
out in steamers to the banks off Sandy Hook, all use rods. 
The Australian schnappers run up to five or six pounds and 
are hard fighters. Botany Bay affords good sea angling for black 
bream and various other fishes. There is also rock fishing for 
the local grouper, which comes after various trigger fish and 
others, and is large and strong. Then there is trumpeter fishing^ 
at Hobart and a giant perch in the mouth of Fitzroy Eiver, one 
of the interesting estuaries of Queensland, a fish requiring in- 
finite patience to catch, I judge, as Aflalo drops into poetry while 
angUng for it and quotes : 

' I am waiting, I am waiting 
Just to tell thee how I love thee.' 

He waited a week or more, then as he was about to sail, his 
boatman or guide caught a perch, a thirty pounder, and sent it 
aboard. I had the same experience on the St. Lawrence. After 
fishing for weeks I sailed away down the Lachine rapids. As 
we left the pier some one ran down to the shore and held up a 
forty or fifty pound muscallunge which a lucky angler had just 
brought in. Such are the vagaries of the angler's Ufe. 



Mr. Aflalo says, ' It was always amusing to watch the little 
mud skippers, true fishes, out of water hopping about at play 
among the uncovered mangrove roots.' I think this must have 
been the really wonderful little Periophthalmus of which Moseley 
«peaks in his ' Voyage of the Challenger.'' If our author had taken 
out his fly rod and baited his fly hook with grasshopper and cast 
onto the dry, waterless muddy flats he might have hooked 
one and played him on dry land as he hopped about, and laid 
the foundation for a wonderful fish story, and a true one, as I 
imderstand the feat has been accomplished though I do not 
recall who told me the tale, at least Dr. Gunther states that this 
little fish feeds on terrestrial insects which it catches out of water. 




' You strange, astonished-looking, angle-faced. 
Dreary-mouthed, gaping wretches of the sea. 
Gulping salt water everlastingly. 

Cold-blooded, though with red your blood be graced. 
And mute, though dwellers in the roaring waste.' 

Leigh Huml. 

I!N" the garden of a great Prince of Japan, poised on a wooden 
base over a beautiful miniature lake, is a gigantic and 
grotesque fist, wMcb must weigh a ton, possibly several. As to its 
significance, or what it means, I do not know, but there it is ; 
and of all peoples the Japanese are the only ones who seem to 
have thought the fishes of enough importance to enshrine a 
statue of a fish as the central point of a most beautiful estate. 

I fancy this fish was caught by Ebisu himself and placed here 
in his honour, as it is just about the sort of fish one would imagine 
Ebisu would land, if he landed anything. My reason for so 
thinking, is that Ebisu was the very oldest fisherman of whom 
we know anything. He told fish stories twenty-five hundred 
or more years ago. 

We can go farther back even than Ebisu to his father, who 
was one Oanamuchi, who lived by the seashore off which there 
was a large island, hke the Isle of Wight or the Isle of Man ; only 
this particular island had tall mountains whose crests were hidden 
in the clouds most of the time. For something, possibly exagger- 
ation on the high seas, Ebisu was sent or banished to Oshima, 
where he was expected to die of starvation ; but he went fishing 
instead, and became so wonderful an angler that he even refused 



to catcli more than he could use ; and so became the immortal 
of the anglers, for this was a wonderful virtue twenty-five hundred 
years ago. 

Bbisu was so patient that he at last attracted the attention of 
his mother, who said to him on the gentle winds of the morning, 
which in this instance was the Kuro SMwo, ' Fish, fish, my son. 
By fishing shalt thou live. By fishing shalt thou be made a 
man.' So Ebisu became the great fisherman of the universe 
to the Japanese. All things came to his net, and as a natural 
consequence, he became a fish-god : and the big fish you may see 
in the garden of the Prince, is an offering to Ebisu, who at least 
took his catches inland where he met the god of good luck Daikoku. 
It does not require much imagination to see the picture : Ebisu 
with a big red tai or snapper beneath his arm, and Daikoku, 
smiling with good luck, sitting on a bag of rice, ready to exchange 
rice for fish, good luck for anything. If you wish proof of this, 
you may turn to the books of the Japanese or to their wonderful 
ivories, where you will see Bbisu with his fish and Daikoku with 
his smile of good luck, so essential to the angler, every one of 
whom ought to carry a little ivory figure of Daikoku, instead of a 
rabbit's foot. 

These two gods appear to have struck up a happy companion- 
ship and became the twin luck gods of Japan ; no two gods 
are better known or more cheerful additions to the hfe of anglers 
in Japan, or anywhere, as Ebisu is just as efficacious a god in 
England as in Japan. Ebisu and Daikoku have had many trials 
and experiences. Their combination of good luck and good 
angling enabled them to take marvellous catches of tuna, conger, 
bass, and all the fishes of the sea ; and as emblematic you may 
see Ebisu everywhere in Japan with a big red tai under his arm 
and Daikoku smiling good luck in ivory, wood and stone. 

The moral of all this, is that when the reader goes to Japan 
to take Benisashi or Kajika, he shoidd first make his obligations 
to Daikoku, then to Ebisu, and having the right bait, and a good 
boatman, he will catch all the fishes of the sea. 


We know little about Daikoku or Ebisu in America, or the 
mother country ; but did you ever notice when you are going off 
on a fishing trip, your less fortunate friend calls out, ' Good luck ! ' 
You may be sure that Daikoku had something to do with it, 
as the Japanese have not a monopoly in good luck. 

Japan, the Japanese and Japanese fishes have something 
very much in common. They suggest one another. The wonder- 
ful three-tailed Japanese carp or gold-fish could have originated 
nowhere else than in Japan. I once saw a Japanese book on 
them, giving the many different varieties, their names, and 
pictures of them ; some with two tails, some with three, and 
some with telescopic eyes. They were white, red and gold, plain 
and diversified ; and I remember that one was the fish of the 
black cross, the fish bearing a black cross on its back. 

I am indebted to the Hon. Shinnosuke Matsubara, Director 
of the Imperial Fisheries Institute of Tokyo, for some interesting 
data relating to these strange fishes. He says that the Japanese 
obtained them from China ; but they have improved them and 
produced many new varieties. Some of their names are Wakin — 
slender, long, vermilion-red, with white tail which has four lobes ; 
the Eyukin has a short rounded body, with a flowing tail ; the 
Eanchu is almost round ; the adult has a reddish crown and is 
called the Shishigashira or hon-headed ranchu. Then there is the 
rare-headed ranchu, Oranda, the Demekin with telescopic eyes ; 
the Watonai with a flowing tafl. The Japanese, as Mr. AMyama 
Kichigoro, a ' Gold-fish Breeder in Tokyo,' produce these extra- 
ordinary fish much as they would a new chrysanthemum. 

The Shukin, ' autumn brocade,' fish is a wonderful creature. 
Shu is the breeder's name and ' kin ' meaning brocade, from its 
beautiful colour. In 1876 I saw one of these fishes in New York, 
which was said to have cost $30,000, and the owner claimed to 
have refused $50,000. It was called the Ean-Kiyo. Its tail was a 
mass of fluffy creamy lace at least six inches long, the body a 
golden-red. Most of these wonderful fishes are produced in 
Tokyo, Koriyama, Yamato and Nara Prefecture. Thie breeding 



is most carefully carried on, and the oddest fishes are sold much 
as we sell or buy birds as pets. Just how old the industry is, 
no one knows ; but it is known that there was a fish breeder 
of the name of Sato Sanzaemon at Koriyama in the Hoyei era 
in 1704-1710. 

The fish of the ' black cross ' and various quaint designs 
are produced by applying dilute hydrochloric acid. Every year 
in the autumn an exhibition is held and thousands of the quaint 
and beautiful fishes sold from two cents to twenty-five dollars a 

With all the fine sea fishes of Japan, the inhabitants do not 
obtain the benefit of them, due to the situation of the Islands 
rising precipitously from deep water and often abysmal depths. 
The fishermen do not venture offshore where the large fishes 
are, their boats being very small. The area about Japan within 
the six hundred-foot line is but seventy-seven thousand square 
miles ; and this naturally has been very seriously depleted by 
the four hundred thousand small boats. Up to within a few 
years, the Japanese knew little or nothing of the fine game in the 
Euro Shiwo off their shores ; and in 1906, when a modem gasoline 
fishing-boat, the twenty-five ton Fuji Mam, went offshore away 
and made a great catch of bonito, they were amazed and a sen- 
sation was created all over Japan. 

Salmon and trout have been introduced, and there are twenty 
hatcheries. American Eainbow trout have been placed in lakes 
Nikko and Aizu, and in a short time the Japanese wiU copy our 
rods and reels, and will be among the cleverest of fiy casters 
and makers. 

The most noticeable trout-Uke fish in Japan is the Hucho 
{Hucho blacJcistoni), similar to the big trout we have seen in the 
Danube, where it affords excellent sport. The angler of an in- 
quiring mind will wonder why this trout should exist in these 
two widely separated regions alone : the northern rivers of 
Japan, and the Danube, and certain streams in the vicinity of 
Austria and Germany — one of the seeming puzzles of nature. 


The Chinese have long devoted themselves to fishing, but 
not to angling, although there is reference to rod anghng in their 
early works. Their ancient classics refer to the time many 
centuries before the Christian Era when there were officials 
appointed something like the game-wardens of to-day, or Fish 
Commissioners ; one Chiang Tzu-ya, who flourished three thou- 
sand years ago, is, doubtless, the first man known to fish with a 
rod. Wei-Ching, W. Yen, Second Secretary of the Imperial 
Chinese Legation at Washington, says that the man fished with 
an iron rod, at the age, of eighty. The emperor Wen Wang heard 
of it, and paid him great honour for twenty years. The clever 
poet of Punch, author of the following lines, must have had in 
mind Chiang Tzu-ya : 


' Beside a vast and primal sea 
A solitary savage he. 

'Who gathered for his tribe's rude need 
The daily dole of raw sea-weed. 

' He watched the great tides rise and fall 
And spoke the truth — or not at all ! 

'Along the awful shore he ran 
A simple pre-Pelasgian ; 

• A thing primeval, undefiled 
Straightforward as a httle child — 

' Until one mom he made a grab 
And caught a mesozoic crab ! 

' Then — ^told the tribe at close of day 
A bigger one had got away ! 

' From him have sprung (I own a bias 
To ways the cult of rod and fly has) 
All fishermen — and Ananias ! ' 




The modern fishing industry came from this source. Fish 
culture ta China was founded by the Chinese philosopher, Tao-Chu 
Kung, in the fifth century before Christ. Angling has not be- 
come a sport in China for the reason that fishermen are, in a 
sense, ostracised ; it was not supposed to be a very honourable 
profession in the old days, and has not yet recovered. American 
fishes will be introduced into Chinese rivers ; and China now 
has the sturgeon, perch, mackerel, pomfret, eel, shad, sole, 
mullet, flounder, herring, carp and bream. 

There is little or no angling in Japan, as we understand it ; 
no definite theory of sport ; but the Japanese are the cleverest 
fishers in the world. To them the objective is the fish and an 
abundance ; the ways and means count for nothing. They 
have invented a weird little fly of all colours that is a killing lure 
for young sardines and mackerel. They are philosophers in 
training birds to work, so saving them the trouble. It is a mar- 
vellous sight to see them go out with a dozen long-neck cormor- 
ants, their necks encircled with a ring, each bird held with a cord, 
and each bird catching fish for its master as fast as the latter can 
puU it in and make it disgorge. Fish caught in this way are 
eaten only by the lower classes. The Japanese fisherman has 
come to America, and wiU doubtless drive out the Italian and 
the Greek. He is too clever, and he invents methods of taking 
fish that are uncanny. As an illustration : the Santa CataJina 
Channel, from one to five miles off shore, is the feeding and 
spawning ground of the long-fin tuna or albacore. Anglers with 
the rod, troll for them with sardine bait, a bone jig or spoon, 
and with this tackle, they take four or five and caU it a morning's 
sport, as the fish run from twenty-five to forty pounds, and have 
been seen up to one hundred. Sometimes this tuna will not 
bite ; but not far away you will see four or five staunch sea- 
going power boats stretched across the channel, half a mile apart. 
Ebisu is in the forechains and Daikoku in the prow ; and astern 
stands a Japanese who is hauling in the long-fin tunas so rapidly 
that the deck is two feet deep with them, and in a manner only 


possible to Ebisu. In one hand the Japanese fisherman holds a 
stiff but very long bamboo rod with a ten-foot stout Une, the 
hook baited -with a live bait. In the other, he holds a bamboo 
staff, the end of which is a little paddle. He casts the live bait, 
which swims and struggles, and with his left hand scoops up the 
water with the paddle and scatters it about, making as much 
noise, apparently to frighten the fish, as he can, at least that is 
the opinion of the American anglers, who without Ebisu are watch- 
ing this extraordinary performance on their own preserves. 
Instead of alarming the tunas, it seems to attract them. In any 
event, he sees the splash from far below and thinking it is a school 
of fry feeding, rushes upward like an arrow from the bow, sees but 
one fish and takes him, to be unceremoniously dragged aboard. 
I once watched this astonishing spectacle for several hours ; 
and the Japanese, aided by Ebisu and Daikoku, took a long-fin 
tuna of twenty or thirty pounds every ten minutes, filled their 
boat to overflowing, and steamed away to San Pedro, where the 
fish were either canned (tinned as tunny) or sold to the fertilizer 
plant to be ground up and sold to orange growers. In this and 
other ways, the Japanese is devastating the fisheries of Western 
America, and is accounted an extinguisher of game. 

Japan is washed by the fine tropical Gulf -Stream of the Pacific, 
which sweeps up from the tropics, and moves in as the Kuro 
SMwo, carrying balmy airs to Alaska and the North Pacific, 
British Columbia, and the coast of CaUfornia, Washington and 
Oregon. Up this great highway from the south come countless 
hordes, and many varieties of fishes from No Man's Land. Some 
remain in Japanese waters, others go on and on, in the Kuro 
Shiwo until they reach Santa CataUna ; two notable instances 
being the Catalina swordfish and the yeUow-fin tuna, both of 
which were first known from Japan. The former is now more 
plentiful at the California islands than it is in Japan, where it 
was named Tetrapturus mitsuJcurii. It has been described, as 
has the yellow-fin tuna, in another chapter, and these two fishes 
can be considered the chief game fishes of the Mikado's dominion. 



In and about tlie four islands of Japan — ^Hondo, Hokkaido, 
Kiusui and Shikoku, there are nine hundred species of fishes, 
many of which can be included in the term game, i.e., edible, 
and hard fighters on rod and reel. Add to these about two hun- 
dred species from the islands to the north, and we have, accord- 
ing to Jordan, a grand total of one thousand one hundred species, 
fifty of which are from the lakes and rivers. 

So similar are the fishes of China, that a description of one prac- 
tically applies to the other. In l^orthern Japan, or north of 
Tania and Mats-shima Bay, we find saln;ion and trout and good 
sport. In the south, there are trout, though gradually disap- 
pearing, the Ayu or Japanese dwarf salmon taking their place. 

The Japanese have a large catfish called IfTamazu {Parasilurus 
asotiis) that affords a certain amount of exhilaration in the catch- 
ing. Dr. Gunther, the English author, pointed out a remark- 
able similarity between the fishes of Japan and those from the 
Mediterranean. This he explained by stating that at one time 
the coast of Spain and Italy had a continuous line to Japan. 
Japan has four hundred and eighty-three or more genera of 
marine fishes. Of these, one hundred and fifty-six are common 
to the Mediterranean, one himdred and eighty-eight to the West 
Indies and Japan, one hundred and sixty-nine to the Pacific 
coast of Japan, California and Mexico. When we come to 
Hawaii, the angler will take there ninety genera which he has 
landed in Japan, and the angler of iNew Zealand takes sixty- 
two, which are common in Japan, two hundred and four are 
identical in India and Japan ; and the members of the angUng 
clubs of AustraUa catch two hundred different genera identical 
with those taken in India ; hence, even to the angler, the geo- 
graphical distribution of fishes is a fascinating study, and can be 
used in a way in determining the rise and faU of continents and the 
existence of ancient coast-lines. 

Of aU the game fishes of Japan, the little Ayu or Japanese 
samlet is the most appreciated by visiting anglers, as it is sure 
to take a dry fly, Now, I have only hearsay for this, but Dr. 


Jordan tells us that he ranks it second among the food fishes of 
the northern hemisphere, giving the little candle-fish, Eulachon,. 
first place ; a valuable Uttle fish, so full of fat that you may stand 
it on its tail and light it as you would a candle, then blow it out 
and eat it. 

A fine trout of Japan is the Yamabe (Salmo perryi). The 
Japanese do not waste time with a two-ounce rod to take the 
Ayu, but go after them with a pack of trained cormorants as 
previously described. The Tamagowa is said to be a fine stream 
for fly fishing, but is devoted to the cormorant, that swallows 
the little Ayu and is forced to disgorge by its master, who sees- 
nothing out of the way in the process. 

In Tokyo Bay you may see men and boys angling with bam- 
boo for Tai, the redfish of Ebisu, one of the best of the fishes of 
the people. The Kuromutsu is also a hard fighter about Msaki^ 
and the ocean abounds in several Tunas and Cavallys that carry 
destruction to the lines of the men or the nets of the fishers after 
the gigantic spider-crab. 

The bass tribe is represented by several large and fine game 
fishes, notable among which is Susuki, Lateolabrax Japonicus^ 
It resembles, tastes and fights Uke the Morida Eobalo. Then 
there is the Ara, a big fighter of the bass clan. This is the Niphori^ 
spinosus of science. The Japanese have their jewfish or black 
sea-bass in the Ishinagi {Megaperca), better known as the stone 
bass. Another big bass is Abura bodzu or fat priest (Ehisu» 
sagamius). A friendly angler told me that he had fished for 
several of these fishes and found them hard and lusty fighters. 
There are several large grouper-hke fishes — the red grouper 
(Epinephelus), and one of the most beautiful of the family. The 
black-banded grouper. Other quaint Japanese game are known 
as Tengudai, Matodai, and Odawara, the latter a fine fish and 
thoroughly game. 

A fine handsome fish taken after the fashion of the American 
bluefish is Aphareus. The Japanese porgy, Tai or Akadai, pre- 
viously referred to, is of national importance with the chry- 

23 355 


«antliemtun and rising sun. This is the Eed Tai, always pictured 
under the arm of Ebisu. But there is another, the Kurodai or 
Black Tai. The tana ranges into Japanese waters and several 
large jack-like fishes, while the wanderers from the south are 
many and sufficient to justify the angler in stopping in Japan, 
and trying them with rod and reel. 

The taking over of the vast area known as the Philippine 
Islands, off the coast of Asia, by the government of the United 
States, to hold them and to educate the natives and fit them to 
govern themselves and have independence, is an illustration 
of one of the great national philanthropies of the age. The 
accession is of interest to anglers, as the United States government 
has had the region most carefully investigated and explored, 
Tvith a result that while the work on the fishes is in no wise ex- 
hausted, enough has been done to show that here is one of the 
most remarkable fields for the sea-angler. 

The Philippines, that were well named by Buy Lopez de Villa- 
lobos in honour of King PMlip II., are particularly interesting 
to the angler from the fact that they begin virtually in the 
Tropics and reach the Temperate zone, or about sixteen and 
a half degrees latitude, beginning between the fourth and fifth 
•degrees north of the equator and extending for one thousand 
one hundred and fifty miles, occupying an area of about 
«even hxmdred nailes in width or east and west. This vast 
area ensures a marvellous variety of game. The north islands of 
the Batan group are but one hundred miles from Japanese For- 
mosa, two hours travel in a modern aeroplane, while the Sultan 
of Sulu, now an American, could reach north-eastern Borneo 
in one hour if he was inchned to utilize this method of naviga- 

Assuming this is a vast fishing ground, we observe some of its 
features. There are over three thousand islands. Luzon and 
Mindanao have areas of forty thousand and thirty-six thousand 
square miles. There are nine others, with areas of from one 
thousand to ten thousand square miles, and three hundred and 


fifty more having an area of from one mile upward, making in all a 
land area of one hundred and fifteen thousand square miles, a 
water surface to fish on of seven hundred thousand square miles, 
and a vast and varied coastline of many thousands of miles. 

Its possibilities in the way of angling are seen in the fact that 
it rises out of deep water, yet there is a shelf of from one hundred 
to three hundred miles offshore. It lies entirely within the Tropics, 
yet its lofty mountains, from four thousand to nine thousand feet 
in height, give it an assortment of cool and delightful climates. 
It has numerous rivers, as the Cagayan, Agno, Pampanga, Agusan, 
and Colabata in Mindanao. In their higher reaches black bass 
have been placed, ^nd trout will foUow. Dr. David Starr Jordan 
has prepared lists of the fishes of the Philippines, which have been 
published by the Bureau of Science of Manila, 1910, which show 
a rich and valuable fauna, practically a virgin field for the angler. 
In Dr. Jordan's catalogue of species he gives eight hundred and 
thirty, and states that the actual number to be found here is 
undoubtedly over sixteen hundred species included in which are 
some of the finest game fishes of the ocean. 

Previous to the arrival of the Americans in the Philippines, 
little or no attention had been paid to the subject of angling 
from the standpoint of sport, or even to developing what un- 
doubtedly are the remarkably valuable fisheries. It has been 
found that the islands shores abound in fine game fishes, and I am 
informed by Mr. Benjamin Folsom, that the finest fishing in the 
world has been discovered at Apo Eeef , between Mindoro and the 
Calamianes Islands, not a long trip from Manila. Dean Worcester, 
the eminent authority on the Islands, was the discoverer of this 
sea-angler's paradise, where the big barracuda, yeUowtail and 
many large fishes can be taken with great ease and in vast 
numbers. In a word, here on the Apo Eeef, is a Western Pacific 
Santa Catalina for the delectation of the Americans who are 
now the protectors of the Philippines and who are educating the 
natives for governmental responsibilities. 

The fishes of this region, while they are tropical, include 



many that are represented in California. Mr. John E. Arnold 
gives in the folloTving an inkling of the possibilities. He says : 

' There is some good sport to be had, however, in the comparativfely 
shallow iater-island waters. A party of five on a recent excursion, lasting 
about a week, captured forty-six pompanoes, with a total weight of four 
hundred and seventy-two pounds, fifty-seven barracudas, with a total 
weight of four hundred and thirty pounds, fifty-six groupers, with a 
total weight of two hundred and twenty-nine pounds, ten Spanish 
mackerel, with a total weight of one hundred and twenty-five pounds> 
and seven red snappers, with a total weight of forty-one pounds, besides 
others, bringing the gross weight up to sixteen hundred and sixty-four 
pounds, and the total species to twenty-two. The best fishing groimds 
were found in Malampaya Sound off the CuMon (north of Palawan and 
Sztanki), south of Mindanao.' 

iN'ot far from here, about forty miles north of Mindanao, is 
one of the great mysterious deeps of the sea, where a region of 
eternal night prevails, almost incomprehensible pressure and a 
temperature just above freezing. This hole is six miles and four 
hundred and six feet in depth ; so from the actual base of the 
vast mountain, represented by the Philippines, one would climb 
upward six miles, then a mile more to the peaks of some of the 
Philippine moimtains. The ocean is nearly six miles deep near 
Guam. This is of no particular interest to anglers except that 
it is theoretically possible to go a-fishing with a line six miles 
long, and it is known that near some of these great deeps the 
fishes coidd find the lure by their phosphorescent lights. 


Fig. 47. Sea Angling in Mexico. 
1. Black Sea Bass (a morning's catch by Hon. C. G. Conn). Gulf of California, Mexico. 
S, Major F. R. Burnham — and author after. White Sea Bass, Sonora. 3. Group of 
Me«(ican Fishes. 4. White Sea Bass 5. Spotted Bass. 6. Rooster Fish (Papagello), 
taken by Hon. C. G. Conn. p, 35g[ 



' And there were crystal pools, peopled with fish, 
Argent and gold ; and some of Tyrian skin. 
Some crimson-barred.' 

Thomas Hood. 

THE angler wlio visits the Hawaiian Islands, H of an inquir- 
ing turn of mind, will observe two peculiarities in the fish 
life. They are beautiful beyond adequate description, and 
appear to be entirely different from those of any other locality. 
It is a weU-estabhshed fact that the fishes of this region are 
isolated and peculiar to a remarkable degree ; and there are 
many species indigenous to the Islands and absolutely unique. 
Why this is so, the angler may demonstrate by studying the 
great ocean currents and the locality. The Islands are alone," 
in the centre, one might say, of a great whirlpool or vortex. Up 
from the islands of Clarion and Socorro, of the Eevillagigedos 
group, sweeps a great current, passing to the north and west by 
the Islands and on to the Ladrones. Over to the north flows the 
great sea-river, Kuro-SMwo, carrying soft whispering winds 
and summer to the coast of California, where, perceptibly cooled, 
it is deflected to the south, yet modifying the entire coast and 
forming a highway down which wander fishes of Japan, Otchotch 
an^ Alaska. To the north-east is an extraordinary spiral cur- 
rent, known as Fleurien's Whirlpool. Westward from the 
vicinity of Hawaii flows a great current, the hot Celebes river of 
the ocean, which becomes the great Black Current of Japan, 
the Kuro-SMwo, which we have seen. To the north are the 
islands discovered by Captain Cook, among the most beautiful 
and romantic of all the islands of the Pacific — the greatest and 



deepest of all oceans, averaging three miles in depth for thousands 
of nules. 

Under these circumstances it is little wonder that the fishes 
in the market, in the Aquarium, and those brought in by the fish- 
ing boats, arouse the greatest admiration ; yet, so far as sport 
is concerned, very Uttle is heard of the game fishes of Hawaii. 
The utu (Apion) is a fine fish. The Hawaiian mullet (MugU 
eephalus) is said to take a fly, though my memories of mullet 
are always a school enveloped in a coppery cloud of mud which 
they stir up on the Florida reef, at least in feeding. The large 
parrot-fishes of Hawaii are resplendent creatures and wiU astonish 
the angler by their strength. Few are taken in this way, as a 
small but very powerful hook is required. 

While many of the fishes of Hawaii are peculiar to it, many 
of them are found elsewhere, as the swordfish, the large cavally- 
like fish, and many more found outside the reef. The awa 
(Chanos chcmos) attains a length of five feet at Hawaii, and would 
be considered a game fish in many lands. It is found commonly 
in the old artificial fish ponds of the old kings with big fat muUets. 
It is also taken on sandy beaches in the Gulf of California. 

The Hawaiian Islands were discovered by Captain James 
Cook of the British ^Navy, on the eighteenth of January, 
1778, and named by him in honour of his friend the Earl of 
Sandwich. The Besolution discovered Maui on the twenty- 
sixth of November, 1778, and Hawaii on the twenty-ninth — 
a remarkable and interesting find in mid-ocean. I refer to 
this as the expedition took to England a few of the fishes which 
have since become famous for their beauty, and which were 
described by Sir Joseph Banks. Since then several British 
zoologists have collected fishes here, as well as those of other 
nationalities, and Dr. Gunther alone recorded seventy-eight 
species. In 1902 the United States government made a most 
elaborate survey of the Islands imder Dr. Jordan and Dr. Ever- 
mann. They describe four hundred and forty-one species of 
fishes, called shore fishes. Of these two hundred and thirty- 


two species are confined to Hawaii, Tahiti, Fiji, Samoa, etc ; 
fifty-three common to Hawaii and Japan ; thirty-fotir common to- 
Hawaii and Maui. 

There are some familiar American fishes, as the ten-pounder,. 
Mops saurus, one of the most active of the tarpon-like fishes. In 
the Oio we^recognize the lady-fish, and the Kaku is the barracuda^ 
of which there are two species. Among the mackerels the Frigate 
mackerel (Auxis) is common ; a fine fish on the rod, occasionally 
taken at Santa Catalina. Here, too, is the Aku, which means 
ocean bonito, and the ' little tunny,' or common Santa Catalina 
bonito, tnown as the Kawakawa. Also the hard-fighting long- 
fin tuna, now called the AM. The California bonito, Sardcu 
chilensis, is found here, with the Peto or Ono, the giant mackerel, 
which the ancient islanders found by Captain Cook believed was 
the father of all the small mackerels. The Walu (Buvettus) 
is a savage-looMng fish, shaped Uke a yellowtaU, powerful, alert, 
and doubtless wfil receive the attention of the angler of the future 
in these seas of romance and plenty. The yellowtaU {Seriola} 
is represented at Hawaii by a number of fishes, and locally 
known as the Kahala. It attains a length of three feet. 
Another is Kahala opio (S. Sparna), and is a composite be- 
tween the Santa Catalina yeUowtail and the amber-jack of 

In the Tuna Club collection of photographs, at Santa Catalina 
Island, there is one of a Hawaiian fish known as the Ulua. This 
means literally big fish, but it is applied to a member of the Jack 
family, cavaUy or Carangus. There are Carangus Papio pio 
(smaU), Pa upau (medium), 4nd Ulua (large size). Nine species 
of these hard-fighting fishes are found here. The Ulua at fifty 
pounds is easily the head of the list and a great and powerful 
fish, that, when rod and reel sea-anglers begin to invade these 
beautiful islands, wiU become well known. 

The photograph referred to was of a fish taken here by a 
member of the Tuna Club who compared it to the tuna as a hard 
and tremendous fighter. There is ia the Straits of Florida a^ 



iish closely resembling the Ulua, which refers to Carangus 
marginiatus or C. fosterix. 

N^ative names for others of the tribe are Maka, Amuka, 
"Dlua Paud, OmUu; all very beautiful fishes. The young of 
many are barred, the adults having splendid tiats of gold, yeUow 
a,nd silver. The dolphin, taken at Santa CataUna, is common 
liere ; also a small dolphin (Coryphaena equisetus). The sea 
basses (/8erra«.i(?ae) are well represented, and the large groupers so 
•common in Plorida, Jamaica, Barbados and Bermuda, are here 
known as Hapu pii u, and a common catch. 

A stroll through the market at Hawaii will afford the sea-angler 
an astonishing suggestion of the iafinite range of the tropical 
fishes, and their beauty of colouring. One of the comely game fishes 
■of the region and a good food fish, up to two feet, is the Opakapaka 
(ApMlus), a most attractive fish peculiar to the Islands and bear- 
ing some resemblance to the gray snapper or black bass. 

A fine big game fish, sure of a warm place in the heart of the 
sea-angler, is the Uku {Aprion viresceus), its large powerful tail 
teUiag the story of a hard fighter. It should be remembered 
that scarcely any of these fishes have been experimented with by 
the angler with the rod, and it is to be hoped that Mr. Aflalo can 
some time visit these radiant islands with the light tackle he has 
carried all over the globe, and give to the anglers of the world, 
a,nd the British Sea Anglers Society, a report of the invasion of 
this island paradise with the rod and reel. 

Volumes could be filled with the descriptions of the resplendent 
beauty of these fishes alone, and if the reader desires information 
xegardiag them, he should obtain from the British Museum 
liibrary, or that of N^ew York, Boston, orj elsewhere, the now 
rare and out-of-print report entitled The Aquatic Resources 
of the Hawaiian Islands, by Jordan and Evermann, 1905, printed 
by the government, as here are scores of illustrations in the 
natural colours of the fishes, showing so bewildering an array 
of tints, shades and hues that one might well believe that some 
artist of weird and impossible fancy had attempted to see what 


he could do in imaginary flights of the brush, colour and shape. 

One of the handsomest of the fishes is Ulaula {Etelis). Like 
the Florida yellowtail, the fins are large ; the upper lobe of 
caudal being long and graceful. This fish is a gorgeous rosy-red 
and silver. The Mu is a porgy, and by any other name just as 
hard a fighter, and there are endless mullets. The beautiful 
whitefish of Santa CataUna is represented here by the Makaa 
(Melacanihus), and one resembles a long-drawn out Santa 
Catahna whitefish, with extraordinary colouring. 

If the tints of these fishes are remarkable what shall be said 
of the shape, as in the Kikakapu ? The horned Makukana, 
fishes with knives, which they can unsheath ; fishes which inflate 
themselves into balloons and when released float away before 
the wind gigantic globules covered with spines ; fishes that 
shoot drops of water ; wonderful coral fishes, coloured like birds 
of paradise, vying with the most gorgeous birds of the Tropics, 
and in such numbers and variety that the angler is amazed and 
bewildered at the prodigahty of Nature. 

The fishes which correspond to the parrot-fishes of the Florida 
reef are the most marvellous in sh9>pe, colour and variety. Nature 
appears to have literally gone mad in attempting to outdo herself in 
these isles of the sea, the land of romance, found by Captain Cook 
not so many years ago and now a territory of the United States. 

Eiver fishing in the Islands is uncertain as the rivers are 
small and either torrents or dry, according to season ; but by 
damming, making artificial lakes, attempts have been made to 
introduce foreign species. The principal rivers are the Kauai, 
Oahu and Hawaii. Black bass have been placed in the WaUuke 
near Eainbow Falls. Carp have been introduced into the waters 
of Maui and Kaui. Catfish have also been introduced, and the 
hibernating Ophiocephalus of China, that successfully resists 
the dry rivers by burrowing in the mud. Goldfish, introduced by 
the Chinese, can be found in the ditches. Salmon and trout eggs 
were sent to the Islands in 1876, but so far the experiments have 
not been perfectly satisfactory. 




' I will give thee for thy food. 
No fish that iiseth in the mud.' 

Becmmont amd Fletcher, 1611. 

THE great continent of South America, covering many of 
the degrees of latitude of America of the north, possesses, 
especially in its sea angling, many fine game fishes, which find a 
prototype in those of the north or Europe ; Germany, England, 
France. Many European countries have sent their people to 
South America, and they have taken their angling tastes with 
them ; hence we find American and German trout, and English, 
American, Germain, Spanish and Portuguese methods all over the 
continent. In the north, along the Amazon and its tributaries, 
are found some of the most interesting fishes in the world, from 
the weird electric eel to little fishes, veritable man-eaters, and 
along the British, Dutch and French Guianas are many sea 
fishes which lend themselves admirably to the rod and reel. 

The tarpon is found along the north South American coast 
and in vast numbers at Tampico, Mexico. The Caribbean Sea 
is noted for its big sea game, the Jacks (Caranx), especially being 
fierce, large and numerous. One of the large and extraordinary 
fishes of South America is the Arapaima, Studis gigas, found 
in the upper reaches of the Amazon, and giving South America 
the claim of having in all probability the largest of fresh-water 
fishes, as the big, pike-hke Arapaima, a cousin of the herrings, 
attains a length of fifteen feet, weighing from three to four 
hundred pounds, and is a match for half a dozen natives. 


A friend who had taken this monster gave me the following 
account : 

' We were moAdng up one of the upper branches of the Amazon, on a 
hunting and fishing trip, and Jose, our guide, had promised to take us to 
the lair of the game fish of South American waters, a monster that attained 
a length of fifteen feet and a weight of twelve hundred pounds, and whose 
strength and activity he was never weary of dilating upon. 

' The river bank which we were passing was four or five feet in height, 
and covered to its very edge with trees, which, in turn, were wound with 
interminable vines or Uanes. The stream was continually undermining 
the banks, bringing down sections of forest into the water with a resound- 
ing reverberation, and which floated away as small islands. Soon again 
Jose stopped rowing, and again we heard the pecuhar splash repeated 
several times in succession. We were now at the turn, only a narrow 
spit being between us ; and as the Indian pulled cautiously, we turned 
just in time to see an enormous fish hurl itself clear of the water, shake 
itself hke a dog in convulsive bends, seemingly scattering a number of 
small animals that were clinging to it. 

' " The otter ! " said our guide, briefly, giving the canoe a vigorous 
puU which sent it into the stream. " See, they are after the Arapaima." 
And now we observed five or six cat-hke animals swimming about in the 
water, as if looking for prey. In a few seconds they dived, and up came 
the gigantic fish, so near the boat that we distinctly saw its plight as it 
roUed over and over. Clinging to it by the gUls and fins and throat were 
several of the httle animals, whUe a number were following and diving 
after the monster. AVhen they saw the canoe they dropped away and 
made for the shore. I was tempted to shoot, but the Indian had seized 
his spear and was now in the bow, asking us to row slowing along. 

' Instead of a branch of the river, we were in a small inlet or bay, not 
over six feet in depth, and up this the Arapaima had dashed, as we could 
see by the ripple, and would soon reach the end and turn. This was 
just what occurred. The big fish almost ran out of the water on a sand- 
bar, scattering a score of turtles that were sunning themselves there, and 
then, with a convulsive effort, turned and plunged again in our direction. 

' On it came, its big fin cutting the water like a knife, reminding 
one of a shark. As it reached us, Jose drew back and plunged the spear 
into its side with an underhand blow that lodged beneath the pectoral 
fin in a vulnerable spot. The moment the fish felt the cold steel it gave 
a magnificent leap into the air, seeming to rise bodily, showing at once its 
enormous size, the gleaming coat of armoured scales with which it was 
enveloped, and also dragging with it three of the otters that had appar- 
ently with remarkable ferocity clung to their victim. 



' The fall of the fish so near the canoe alriiost swamped it ; but Jose 
jerked the handle of the harpoon from its socket, tossed over the coil 
of line, and with a vigorous sweep of the paddle turned the frail craft 
in the direction of mid-stream just in time, as it dashed away with the 
speed of an arrow, then leaping into the air, to fall back heavily, beating 
the water with its ponderous tail. 

' These actions soon exhausted the line, and with a jerk the canoe 
dashed ahead, towed by the Arapaima. There was no need of Jose's 
warning to get astern ; the first lunge of the fish sent the bow of the canoe 
deep into the water, half-filling it, at which we tumbled aft as best we 
could. This brought the bow up into the air, where Jose stood and 
managed the Hne, with his knife between his teeth, ready to cut it if 
necessary. With unerring instinct, the fish made for mid-stream and 
deep water, towing us at a rate not to be despised by a steam-boat, making 
the water hiss about the bow, and carrying a big wave of disagreeable 
dimensions on either side. 

' In the stream were numerous trunks of palms that had been under- 
mined and were on their slow journey down the river, and beneath one 
of these the big fish plunged. It was evident that the end had come ; 
but Jos6 was equal to the emergency ; and seizing the paddles, he guided 
the canoe around the root, and on we sped. ".He soon get sick," Jose 
kept repeating ; and finally, when the fish had made a desperate lunge to 
the bottom, he began to take in the Une, passing it along so that each one 
aided in the work. 

' That one fish, eleven feet in length, could weary and tire out three 
men seems incredible, but it is a fact. The rushes of the game monster 
were of a kind undreamed of by the sportsman, and when its plunges 
came, they could not be met. The line hissed through our fingers and 
smoked as it went over the slight gunwale ; and to have fastened it meant 
a break ; so we possessed ourselves in patience and played the game, 
allowing it to wear itself out, which in time it did. When the line slack- 
ened, we took it in, hand over hand, as rapidly as we could, every pull 
felt by the fish being answered by a lunge that sent the rope hissing through 
our already burned fingers. But finally the pace began to tell on the 
big fish. It had towed the canoe an eighth of a mile with leaps, plunges 
and struggles that proved it a worthy foeman, and now gradually suc- 
cumbed. Its rushes grew less and less frequent, and without the force 
and power that characterized them at the onset, and finally Josd announced 
that the game was up ; the fish barely responded to the hauls on the rope, 
and the fight was over. The fish sulked hke a salmon and allowed itself to 
be hauled alongside without a struggle, merely moving its great tail back 
and forth, propelling the canoe slowly along. Once alongside, a shot 
in the vertebrae of the neck put an end to it, and it was towed ashore and 

Fig. 48 

Fishes of Jamaica — Greater Antilles. (Photographed from life, by Hunt). 

1. Nassau Grouper. 2. Gray Snapper. 3. Coney. 4. Yellow Tail. 5. Porgy. 

6. Angel Fish. p. 364. 


hauled upon the sand-bar, wherp its dimensions could be admired. No 
wonder it towed us at steamboat speed so long. No wonder it had put 
our endurance to the severest test. The fish was over twelve feet in 
length and must have weighed nearly one thousand pounds. It was 
encased in an armour of scales of flinty hardness that would easily have 
resisted a buUet or caused it to glance.' 

The streams of South America abound in weird and really 
remarkable catfishes, some of which build nests ; one bears its 
young in its mouth, whUe one is game for the angler. This is the 
lau lau, fairly common in the Essequibo Eiver in British Guiana. 
A friend told me of his adventures with this fish, which I published 
at the time in the St. Nicholas Magazine : 

' The Americans made their way in a trading-schooner up the Esse- 
quibo River, in British Guiana, to where the Mazaruni flows into it. 
Erom this point the journey was continued in a canoe rowed by a native 
crew. At a spot f uUy sixty mUes from the mouth of the river, camp was 
made on a white, sandy beach. 

' Among a number of curious fishes these American travellers had 
noticed in the Essequibo was a catfish called by the natives the lau lau ; 
and as several had been seen by them, preparations were made for their 
capture. A large Une about two himdred feet in length was baited with 
fish and carried out into the stream by a small boat, a crotched stick being 
thrust into the sand on the beach, to which the Hne was attached to serve 
as a telltale, and around this a number of the party sat waiting for a bite. 

' In a little while there was a sudden jerk, and the line began running 
out in the hands of one of the Caribs. Twenty or thirty feet of leeway 
was given to the rushing fish, and then several of the men grasped the 
rapidly stiffening hne. As it came taut they braced themselves and j erked 
the hook into the fish. For a second there was no demonstration ; then 
a violent plunge tore the Hne from their hands, hurUng them 
upon the sands, and an enormous fish rose bodily out of the water, 
faUing with a thundering crash and darting off at hghtning speed. Know- 
ing that when the slack-in was exhausted the line probably would not 
stand the strain, it was quickly unfastened from the stick and attached 
to a small canoe, into which several of the fishermen sprang. This was 
not done a moment too soon, for with a rush the hne straightened out. 
The boat seemed endeavouring to dive to the bottom, and then away it 
dashed, hurling the spray high in air behind the invisible steed. 

' For an eighth of a mile the great fish towed the canoe with undimin- 
ished speed, darting here and there among the sand-banks, now turning 



suddenly to one side, hurling the occupants off their feet and threatening 
them with constant danger of an upset. The strength of the gamy crea- 
ture, however, was rapidly failing, and as soon as the speed slackened the 
men took the Une in hand and endeavoured to reduce the distance 
between them ; but this resulted only in another furious burst of speed. 
KnaUy the line was torn from the bowman's hand and it shpped over the 
gunwale, and in a moment the water was pouring into the canoe. The 
crew rushed to the other side, climbing up, and finally succeeded in shifting 
the Hne and avertiag a catastrophe. The line was again manned and the 
canoe slowly brought nearer the victim. After a long struggle the black 
form was seen darting back and forth under the bow. The man at the 
bow guarded the line closely, keeping it in the notch, while another native 
stepped forward, and raising a long, three-tined spear, drove it with all 
his force into the monster. The result was entirely unexpected. En- 
raged or frightened by this new attack, the fish seemed to pause for a 
moment, then rose into the air, and fell upon the stem of the boat, carrying 
it down under water. As the monster fell, the crew, with the exception 
of one man, sprang overboard, and swam for the shore ; but the man in the 
end of the canoe cUmbed on to the roof of the cabin-Uke part. As one 
end of the boat sank, he was lifted high in the air. The fish then, in its 
terrific struggles, rolled off, and the boat settled, with the terrified native 
still cUnging to his high perch. The fish was now striking the water with 
his powerful tail, rolling over and over, winding the hne about its body, 
and giving every evidence of its wonderful strength, and might ultimately 
have escaped had not the party been followed by another canoe of natives, 
who, having picked up the swimmers, made for the struggling lau lau. In 
a few moments several spears and arrows had been sent into it, and it was 
speedily dispatched. 

' When the sunken canoe was righted, it was found to be crushed in on 
one side. The harpoon hues were made fast to the fish, and it was slowly 
towed to camp and safely landed on the beach. 

' As the fish slowly rose and fell on the water behind the line of haulers, 
it presented a remarkable appearance to our travellers. Nearly thirteen 
feet in length ; it seemed much larger from its extraordinary bulk. 
The upper surface was a rich greenish-black tint with a silvery white 
below, the mouth and fins being a rich yellow. Its head, which was large 
and flat, was protected by a strong bony plate that extended back to the 
first dorsal fin. But perhaps the most unusual and curious feature was 
the long, slender barbels, or whiskers, that depended from each side of the 
mouth, giving the fish an extremely grotesque and forbidding appearance.' 

There are countless fishes in the rivers and their vast tributary 
systems ; but among the natives, angling as a sport has a very 


indefinite meaning ; but some of the fishing is very picturesque. 
Thus at Altar Do Chao and up the Topajos, the natives go out 
at night with lighted torches, harpooning the Pescada, the Cichila, 
and many more. Fish are taken here also by crushing the vine 
known as Timbo in the water, which has a disastrous effect on 
the fishes, bringing them to the sm-face where they are easily 
taken in nets. H. W. Bates thus refers to the fishes : 

' The port swarmed with fishes, whose movements it was amusing to 
watch in the deep, clear water. The most abundant were the Piranhas. 
One species which varied ia length, according to age, from two to six laches, 
but was recognisable by a black spot at the root of the tail, was always the 
quickest to seize any fragment of meat thrown into the water. When 
nothing was being given to them, a few only were seen scattered about, 
their heads aU turned one way in an attitude of expectation ; but as 
soon as any offal fell from the canoe, the water was blackened with the 
shoals that rushed instantaneously to the spot. Those who did not 
succeed in securing a fragment, fought with those who had been more 
successful, and many contrived to steal the coveted morsels from their 
mouths. When a bee or fly passed through the air near the water, they 
all simultaneously darted towards it as if roused by an electric shock. 
Sometimes a larger fish approached, and then the host of Piranhas took 
the alarm and flashed out of sight. The population of the water varied 
from day to day. Once a small shoal of a handsome black-banded fish, 
called by the natives Acara bandeira (Mesonavta insignis, of Giinther), 
came ghding through at a slow pace, forming a very pretty sight. At 
another time, Uttle troops of needle-fish, eel-hke animals with excessively 
long and slender toothed jaws, sailed through the field, scattering before 
them the hosts of smaller fry ; and in the rear of the needle-fishes a strange- 
shaped kind called Sarapo came wrigghng along, one by one, with a slow 
movement. We caught with hook and hne, baited with pieces of banana, 
several Curimata {Anodits Amazonum), a most deUcious fish, which, next 
to the Tucunare and Pescada, is most esteemed by the natives. The 
Curimata seemed to prefer the middle of the stream, where the waters 
were agitated beneath the little cascade.' 

Many of the Indians have dances pertaining to the fishes. 
One fish dance is called the Pira-purass6ya, in which each player 
takes the name of a fish, as the Jaraki. 

The Tocantins catch their fish in the clear waters with bow 
and arrow. I have essayed this on small fishes in the shallow 



lagoons of Garden Key, Florida, with indifferent success. There 
are great species of creTall6, aUies of the Florida jack, that afford 
sport to the sea-angler in many ports and harbours all along- 
shore, while the ubiquitous tuna often appears, several bonitoes, 
the barracuda, relations of the white sea bass, with an assort- 
ment of rays, more than satisfying to the lover of big game at 
sea. The islands adjacent to the coast are rich in fishes known 
to be game. This is particularly true of the Barbados, where the 
fishes are taken beneath the British flag and where the flying 
fish is the bonne louche. Mr. Aflalo ate them ^nd has ' dreamed 
of them ever since.' I agree with him, and regret the Catalina 
flyer is not so good. Years ago the small local restaurants cut 
off their wings and served them as ' trout. 

One of the finest game fishes of Chili is 8arda chilensis, 
which roams the seas widely ; and here is a distinct and splendid 
Spanish mackerel. But perhaps the finest of all is the great 
Guahu or Peto, a six-foot sharp-nosed mackerel that weighs 
one himdred and twenty or so pounds and is known as a wrecker 
of heavy tackle. It has teeth serrated Uke a shark. The amber- 
jacks are represented off this coast by Seriola lalandi, and has been 
taken up to one hundred pounds and over. A large and really 
beautiful game fish, the PapageUo (Nemalistius), abounds on the 
South American coast ; it resembles the amber-jacks, but has 
long and filamentous dorsals, giving it a most grotesque appear- 
ance. I have taken it in the Gulf of California, off the delta of 
the Yaqui, and lost many a hook before I succeeded in landing 
one. A fierce fighter is the dorado, known in the north as the 
dolphin. Many of the American trout, the rainbow and others, 
the brown trout of the East and the brook-trout have been placed 
in the rivers of the Southern Continent and in many instances 
have done well, affording promise for the future. 

The coast of Trinidad particularly has fine sea angling ; 
and the angler with a good trolling rod of sixteen ounces and a 
twenty-one thread line will find abundant sport with tarpon, 
barracuda, the big jacks (crevall4), the leaping kingfish of sixty 

.;; • *':^ 


Fig. 49. 

Fishes of Bermuda. Islands. (Photographed from life, by Hunt). 

1. Schoolmaster (Snapper). 2. Shecpshead. 3. Yellow Grouper. 4. Yellow Fin 
Grouper. 5. Black Angel Fish. 6. Grunt. p. 368. 


or seventy pounds, and many more. The Bocas between the 
islands are the favourite places, and the angler proposing to 
go there will do well to read the article by Captatn W. J. P. 
Benson, E.E.G.S., in Badminton Magazine of September, 1912,^ 
which is the best account of this angling I have seen. 

America has contributed to the sport of Argentina, and Lago 
l^Tahuel, near the Chilean boundary, has been stocked with 
several kinds of trout, and so distributed over the state. Land- 
locked salmon were placed in Lake N'ahuel, Huapi, Traful, 
Gutierrez and Correntosa. These are large lakes, from ten to 
thirty miles long. Brook-trout and lake-trout have done well, also 
land-locked salmon and various others. Lake trout have been 
placed in Lake Argentino and Lake San Martin ; Eainbows in 
the Rio Santa Cruz. Steelhead have also been successfully intro- 
duced, and cod in the sea waters ; so the American fishes are 
going around the world. One of the interesting South American 
fishes is the Dorado (Salmus maxillosus), not uncommonly taken 
by the natives of Bolivia. The river Pilcornago is an especially 
good locality for it. The fish is a hard fighter, attains a length 
of three feet, and according to Mr. E. Baynes Babcock, who 
describes it in the Fishing Gazette, it is a good, edible, and sport- 
ing fish. 

24 369. 



' I know a magic circle in the Sea, 
Etched on the blue pale gray coral sand ; 
A mountain sank there once, and patiently 
Its widening eddies stiffened into land, 
With lazy surges flapping on the strand.' 

Rhyme of Mary Atoll. 

WHILE the sea fislies of England do not include the tarpon 
and others, England really owns what may be accounted 
^among the finest fishing grounds. England has the tarpon 
at British Guiana, the tuna at Malta in the Mediterranean, and 
the British flag floats over some of the best of the world's angling 
:grounds. This is very evident off the American coast. Mr. 
Tioss, a Canadian, holds the tuna record at Nova Scotia, the best 
ground for large tuna — ^between six hundred and one thousand 
pounds ; and from Bermuda to Nassau and at the Barbados, 
.including Jamaica, the English have a notable and splendid fish- 
ing ground, including practically all of the great Florida fishes 
about which so much is written, and which afford so much genuine 

This is so nearly true that in writing of the game fishes of all 
these regions, I could dispose of them by merely stating in a 
general way that the Florida fishes are practically duplicated in 
the Bahamas and Bermudas. Here are over seventy-five species 
of fishes available to rod, fine or net, many valuable as game, and 
aU as beautiful as the coral reefs about which they live. 

The base of the Bermudas is a sunken atoll, shaped like an 


ellipse, extending twenty-five nules northeast and southwest, and 
thirteen the other way, the main island being on the southeast 
edge of the ellipse with a more or less continuous line of twenty- 
five or twenty-six miles. The main islands are five in number, 
separated by little channels, narrow but with fifteen or twenty 
feet of water, and abound in bays and indentations, shallow 
lagoons and various nooks and corners for the wonderful fishes 
of the region. 

The reef proper comes within a thousand feet of the main 
islands to the south, but on the north side it is from five to nine 
nules distant ; the region between being an angler's delight, 
abounding in miniature keys, submerged and partly submerged 
reefs, coral ledges, and masses of coral lime-stone ; a region filled 
with a wealth of animal life ; a fascinating place to drift over 
with rod or spear, or even with open eyes. The central or inner 
portions of the atoU range in depth from seventy to one hundred 
feet, in all constituting a natural home for the tropic and semi- 
tropic fishes, whose pursuit is the chief industry of the majority 
of the negro population of over seven thousand and some whites. 

The angler wUl find at the quays of Hamilton and St. George 
many fishing-boats equipped with wells, from which the fishes 
are sold alive and fresh ; and one obtains a definite idea of the 
wealth of material. Here are several kinds of angel-fishes {Holo- 
canthus), which I have often taken, requiring a very small but 
very stout hook, their broad sides presenting a resistance that is a 
surprise to the angler. The hogfish, yellowtail and the many 
snappers are fine fishes. 

The Bermudas are the most northern islands of the coral 
reef and the northern limit of the tropical fishes of the Atlantic. 
Professor G. Brown Goode gives twenty-five species as common 
to Bermuda and the West Indies ; half a dozen or more found 
in Bermuda, West Indies and Madeira, Cape Verdes, West Africa, 
St. Helena, and the river Amazon. Many are common to these 
localities, Brazil and Ascension Island, all due to the Gulf 
Stream, in which I have often drifted off the Bermudas or 



Bahamas, watching the strange animals in the great patches of 
sargassum, .the component material of the Sargasso Sea. 

The common names of the fishes here are squirrel, black jack, 
green grouper, Spanish hogfish, black hogfish, runner, blue 
porgy, white porgy, shad porgy, scotch porgy, red-taU, bone-fish, 
yellow tang, mermaid, skipjack, shppery dick, prickley hind, 
sand-mullet. As I have said, prototypes of many of these fishes, 
as the snappers, porgies, grunts, angel-fish, barracudas, etc., are 
found in Florida, where other common names are used, as jack, 
snapper, yellowtail, grunt, jewfish, lady-fish. The hogfish, 
a replica of which is seen at the entrance of Hamilton Harbour, 
at ten or twenty pounds, on a seven- or ten-ounce rod, number 
nine line, will give the angler abundant sport. If bigger game is 
required, the swordfish, XipMas and Tetrapteriis, and the Florida 
Histiophorus are found in deep water off the islands. 

Here is the jack up to ten pounds ; cavally, dolphin, bonito 
two feet long, and many more. This reef is the home of the gray 
snapper ; to my mind, one of, if not the cleverest fish of the sea. 
I have taken many up to twenty pounds on the reef during many 
years' fishing ; but the average fish is six or seven pounds. Here 
are seen snappers, grunts and groupers ; and in the ' Devil's 
Hole ' at Hamilton, groupers of huge size, three and four feet long, 
may be seen. The spotted kind is a beautifid fish. The barra- 
cuda is among the hard fighters and occasionally a tarpon is seen. 

When we go south to the Bahamas, we find many similar 
forms, but a greater variety ; and from here on one can find the 
home of the Spanish mackerel, so common in the Gulf off Key 
West, and around to Aransas and Galveston, and undoubtedly 
down the coast to South America. 

The mackerel-Uke fishes with their steely sides, their trim 
cut, powerful fins, are ideal game fishes of the sea ; and from 
the Spanish mackerel to the pintado or kingfish they present a 
series of hard fighters, especially if they are approached with the 
right kind of tackle. 

But a few years ago the hand-Une was used everywhere. I 


liave seen men at Tarpon, Texas, fishing for this wonderM leaper 
■with a big cotton line not over fifty feet long. The tarpon never 
gained a foot. The finest Spanish mackerel fishing I ever saw 
,was going on at the same time with that of the tarpon, and one 
day I found myself with about thirty men, women and children 
in the Pass angling for Spanish mackerel. I was using an eight- 
oxmce trout rod and was angling for sport. The rest had ten- 
foot bamboo poles with ten-foot lines, and were fishing for the 
next winter's food supply. I remember I caught four, while my 
amazed next-door neighbour took forty, and he was amply justi- 
fied, as he needed them. The fish were three or four pounders, 
radiantly beautiful in their tints of silver, yellow and blue, qtuck 
as a flash of light, dashing this way and that, coursing along the 
surface to the song of the reel. They caught five to my one, 
and laughed at me heartily, until a big man-eater shark came 
along and broke up the fishing and the angling party, literally 
driving the women ashore in sheer fright. 

The Spanish mackerel, Scomberomorus maculatus, is a valu- 
able game fish, as the catch of a recent year brought in to the men 
in aU the United States nearly $75,000,000. This little mackerel 
attains a weight of ten or eleven pounds, but five pounders are the 
ones generally caught. The Texans were salting down the 
Spanish mackerel for the winter, literally joining business with 
pleasure. One woman was carefully skinning a fish to get the 
silvery skin to cover a box, while others were collecting all the 
tarpon scales they could find. I have often wondered why some 
ingenious milliner did not perch certain fishes on ladies hats, until 
one day I met a woman coming down the walk at Avalon with 
the wing of a flying fish on her hat, doubtless, the first to be so 
used. It is more than remarkable that the fishes have escaped 
the fate of other animals so deftly outlined by an American wag 
in the BrooJdyn (New York) Eagle: 

' Maby's Attiee. 

' Mary had a little Iamb — 

'Twas Persian on her coat ; 



She also had a mink or two, 

About her dainty throat ; 
A bird of Paradise, a tern, 

And ermiae made the hat 
That perched at jaunty angle 

On her coiffure, largely rat ; 
Her tiny boots were sable topped, 

Her gloves were muskrat, too ; 
Her muff had heads and tails of half 

The " critters " in the Zoo ; 
And when she walked abroad, I ween. 

She feared no wintry wind ; 
At keeping warm 'twas plain to see 

She had all nature " skinned." ' 

When the angler reaches the semi-tropics, as Bahama, 
he "vdll find that fish scales are used in ornamenting boxes 
and frames, various objects being covered with them, calling to 
mind a room in the old Tarpon Club in Texas, where the walls 
were covered with tarpon scales, each signed with the name of a 
victorious angler. On one is my own name, though I have for- 
gotten the length of the fish, it being impractical to weigh tarpon, 
as they are not killed unless needed. 

In 1909, I was off Key West, Florida, in the centre of a fleet 
of boats fishing for kingfish and mackerel, and the sport was 
fast and furious. The kingfish resembles a giant Spanish 
mackerel, and it is only a different species. The larger fish is a 
living silver arrow, and when leaping and biting, it presents a 
splendid spectacle, as, lite the tuna, it is a jimiper at the bait, 
rarely doing so when hooked ; covering with great leaps ten. feet 
or more, tossing the lure into the air, and playing havoc with poor 
tackle and the nervous angler. One can really obtain a better 
idea of the strength of the fish with a hand-line, as it is a marvellous 
fighter and leaper ; its movements being like beams of light. 
Jordan calls it ' one of the greatest of all game fishes,' and it 
certainly justifies this encomium when played, with rod and reel, 
as the late Mr. St. John iCTewberry played it, with the finest tackle. 
Anglers take specimens thirty and forty pounds in weight, one 


hundred pounds being known off the Florida reef and in South 
American Waters. The fish is taken trolling (trailing), from 
either a sail-boat or launch, any kind of bait or a spoon serving 
the purpose so long as it is conspicuous, the angler using a tarpon 
rod, a No. 21 Une, 'So. 10 hook, or a spoon or metal jig. 

To see these big racing mackerel come leaping at the bait is 
a most exhilarating spectacle. Mr. St. John Newberry says : 
' To really enjoy this sport a good launch is advisable, and if the 
sea is smooth, the angler should sit in a rowboat astern, and either 
row or be rowed, and have the pleasure of fighting the kingfish 
from a small boat.' This at Nassau. 

Occasionally on the reef, and more often south of Cuba, is^ 
taken a hard-fightiag mackerel-Mke fish called the Peto, Acan- 
ihocylium solendH. It doubtless exceeds the kingfish in size,^ 
specimens having been reported weighing one hundred and 
twenty-five pounds ; and one taken from a man-eater shark's, 
belly must have weighed more : such a fish would have measured 
nearly seven feet. Mr. Newberry shows in his book a large 
specimen taken by him with rod and reel. 

Mr. St. John Newberry is one of the angling authorities on 
Bahaman fishes. He has fished the waters from Nassau in every 
direction ; and describes it as a most remarkable region for the 
sea angler in winter. He did most of his angling for kingfish 
from a sailboat, and when the strike came the latter was thrown 
into the wind, while he played the fish. In the delightful volume,. 
Caught on the Fly, he gives his graphic experiences with ' thirty- 
eight, forty-one and fifty pounders.' 

The winter angler can find no more interesting trip than ta 
follow down from Bermuda to Nassau, Bahama, and visit the 
islands down to Barbados, then to Jamaica, ending at Tampico, 
Mexico, where the winter tarpon fishing is excellent and com- 
fortable. The fishes of all this region are interesting, often 
beautiful, and include many that will meet the expectations of 
the most critical angler. Goss, the English naturalist, has in- 
vested Jamaica with a charm that a most searching investigation 



does not dispel. If the angler is yachting, lie can Tisit some 
of the most fascinating keys in the Caribbean Sea, keys or islands 
that are most extraordinary peaks, rising hke needles from the 
greatest depths known to man, invested in certain parts with 
finny inhabitants, including many game fishes, and ' benders,' 
to use the word coined by the anglers of Natal. 




' Neither fish, nor flesh, nor good red herring.' 

THE angling clubs of the various parts of the world have a 
direct bearing upon the angling, and to them is mainly 
due the growing high standards in sport, the increased sentiment 
for the conservation of the game, the enactment and observation 
of intelligent game laws, and the education of the masses as to 
the economic value of game of all kinds as an asset of state or 

England leads in this direction and has an extraordinary number 
of clubs, some of which, as the British Sea Anglers Society and 
the Fly Fishers Club of London, have international fame. The 
British Sea Anglers is the most complete and well organized club 
for its purpose in the world, and differs essentially from all other 
clubs. Offhand, I should say that its purpose mainly is education 
along lines somewhat similar to those of the Tuna Club, which 
ranks with it in si^e and utility. The British Sea Anglers is in 
the heart of Westminster, in Fetter Lane, up a narrow ancient 
flight of stairs, about as far away from angUng as it can get ; yet 
it is in touch with every angling station of Great Britain and 
L'eland of any importance. The rooms of the British Sea An- 
glers are very attractive, and are really a museum of the game 
taken by members through the years ; the walls decorated with 
big fishes, records of contests on river, lake and ocean, while a 
choice little library shows the catholicity of interests of the 
members. Every week the members meet and listen to an ad- 
dress from some member on his fishing experiences ; then foUows 



a discussion, and it was particularly interesting to me, an Ameri- 
can honorary member, to observe the intense interest the Sea 
Anglers had in the subject, and how seriously they took it. At 
the end of the year these papers are published in a journal or 
magazine, so become permanent contributions to the history of 
the Club and of great value in providing accurate data to all 
Great Britain. 

The Society has a perfect organization for obtaining informa- 
tion, having over five hundred agents all alongshore in Ireland, 
England and Scotland, who report to the Society at stated times ; 
so members know exactly what to expect in any day's fishing, 
or can telephone to the club-room and obtain from the secretary 
just the desired information. Aside from this, the Society pub- 
lishes for the benefit of its members a small red book, which can 
be slipped into the pocket, and which contains a veritable fund 
of valuable information regarding all the conditions of interest 
to an angler at all the important points in Great Britain and 

Here we have the name of a good fishing-place, a hotel that is 
kno^n to be of the first class, the name of the club agent, the 
name of a good boatman who will not rob one, the list of fishes 
which can be caught under fair and favourable circumstances ; 
in fact, a complete history of the place and situation. What 
this means to an angler who has but a limited time to spare, only 
the angler knows who has gone to a new ground and has been 
obliged to spend several days in obtaining just these data which 
the red book provides. It is to cover this point that the Tuna 
Club began its reciprocal arrangements with various clubs, and 
to-day it has a friendly alliance with the British Sea Anglers 
Society, the Fly Fishers, the Casting Club of France, the Aransas 
Pass (Texas) Tarpon Club, the Asbury Park Fishing Club, the 
St. Petersburg Tarpon Club, to the effect that each club agrees 
to extend its courtesies to accredited visitors or members of 
other clubs. Thus when any member of any of these clubs ar- 
rives at Santa CataUna and presents a card of introduction to 


the secretary of the Tuna Club, he becomes, virtually, an honour- 
ary member of the club during his visit. Ordinarily it would 
take a visitor several days to get his bearings, but with this 
alliance he is posted at once, obtains the best boatman, and meets 
the members who are delighted to extend to the guests every 
possible courtesy and attention. I shall always hold in delightful 
remembrance my own reception by the members of the British 
Sea Anglers Society and the men I met ; this is also true of the 
Fly Fishers Club. I had long been honorary vice-president 
of the former, while the latter honoured me with an honorary 
life membership. 

It is often the fate of such clubs not to receive public 
recognition, but this is not the case in England. This friendly 
organized body of authors, anglers, and distinguished men, 
embracing all the learned professors in its membership, has a 
distinct influence in Great Britain along the line of fish protection, 
conservation, and particularly in elevating the standards of 
sport. The Club includes in its membership some of England's 
most distinguished sportsmen and anglers. The president. 
Lord Desborough, is well known in America as a big game hunter 
and tarpon angler. 

While the British Sea Anglers Society devotes itself to sea 
angling, the Fly Fishers Club in Piccadilly is as influential in its 
own distinctive field, and one of the most delightful clubs in this 
great city of clubs, impossible anywhere else in the world except 
in England, where a love of sport has been handed down gener- 
ation after generation from the time of the Anglo-Saxons who 
long ago took the big salmon of English streams with spear and 
bow. The Fly Fishers Club has an atmosphere all its own, and 
in its delightful rooms, the walls covered with big trout and 
trophies, its incomparable library, its fly room where the member 
can make his own flies, the collection of all the living flies of 
England from many if not all of her famous trout and salmon 
streams, all this, and much more, renders it the vade mecum in 
this direction, the last word in angling clubs. The founder 



of the club is Mr. Marston, the distinguished editor and author, 
as well known in America as in England. 

One is bewildered with the angling clubs of England and 
even of London alone. But when one remembers that London 
has something lite eight million inhabitants and the majority 
of her intelligent dwellers go a-fishing, or dream of it, it can be 
tmderstood. When I was in England, in 1910, the anglers of 
Glasgow were organizing a Sea Anglers Society, and I had the 
pleasure of meeting them in the rooms of the Glasgow Fly Fishers' 
rooms ; a deKghtful club made up of the distiuguished scholars 
and anglers of Glasgow. Another interesting and I think the 
oldest club in Scotland I visited was the Edinburgh Salmon Cliib 
on the Tweed, where I made my first cast with a typical long heavy 
salmon rod. What I caught I leave for my host to tell. 

A mere enumeration of the angUng clubs of Great Britain 
would make material for a book, I recall the Blenheim Angling 
Society, the City of London Piscatorial Society, the Llandudno 
Sea Anglers Association, United Brothers Angling Association, 
the Norwich Angling Club, the Aberystwyth Angling Associaton, 
Bramtree and Bocking Angling Association, Eye Home (Herts) 
Angling Club, Thames Angling Preservation Society, Hull and 
District Amalgamated Anglers Association, IS'orthern Angling 
Association, County Palantine AngUng Association, Barbourne 
Angling Club, Otley and District Angling Chib, and many more. 

Across the Channel the Casting Club of France, of which Prince 
Pierre d'Arenberg, as president, is shaping affairs piscatorial, 
so that the rivers of France will be protected and that valuable 
asset for state or nation — ^good fishing — ^be the result. The 
tournaments of the Casting Club attract many anglers from 
England and America. 

It is said that there are two hundred thousand anglers in New 
York City who fish the lower river and go down the bay, and 
while clubs are not in evidence, as in England, due possibly to the 
cosmopolitan nature of the people, there are many fly-casting 
and bait-casting clubs which have a strong and virile influence 


for good. In that connection should be mentioned the Canadian 
Camp Fire Club, made up of men who hunt and angle in Canada, 
or have been participants in these keen and passionate joys in 
the field of piscatorial endeavour. Down the Jersey coast, at 
Asbury Park, we find the Asbury Park Fishing Club, a club 
associated with the Tuna Club in a friendly alliance, which is 
influencing, the entire Atlantic coast for a high standard of sport, 
for better laws and more logical rules relating to the fisheries. 
This club offers valuable trophies for anglers who shall take the 
splendid game of this region with light tackle and display a strong 
tendency toward fair play. I mean by this the Eooseveltian 
attitude to game. Colonel Eoosevelt is not an angler ; he would 
be if he but once tried conclusions with a Santa Catahna sword- 
fish. In reading his book on hunting in Africa one is more 
touched by his attitude as a gentleman and a civilized sportsman 
of the highest type than by his perfect courage and poise under 
dangers of the keenest sort. 

There are literary scavengers, famed for their sustained con- 
tumelious fiction, who prod this American hunter for his alleged 
savage nature, but I repeat one cannot but be impressed with 
his constant sparing of game, because it was not needed, there 
was no use for it, and when he does shoot a buffalo or an elephant 
or a rhinoceros, perhaps to save his life or that of some one else, 
there is always an apologetic note, a regret that he had been forced 
to kill or wound unnecessarily. One could hardly imagine Colonel 
Eoosevelt wounding an animal and leaving it to die. This 
book is one of the finest sermons on fair play and respect for 
animal life in the English language. The working hypothesis 
is that every animal has its rights, but the law of right, justice 
and scientific demand, allowed a certain killi ng. Despite the 
extraordinary numbers and the constant temptation to shoot, 
not an animal was killed that was not needed or could not be 

This is the principle that actuates gentleman sportsmen every- 
where, and this idea was what induced the author to establish 



the Tuna Club, At this time there was little demand for fishes 
of the sea off Los Angeles county. The population of Los Angeles 
was not fifty thousand, but the fishes were as the sands of the 
beach and as easily caught. There had been no adjustment of 
imaginative values. Men went fishing to see how many fish they 
could catch, and to beat the other man in numbers, not sMll. 
So the Tuna Club was founded, supposedly to catch fish, but 
really that it might become the Pacific coast protagonist of a 
new sporting philosophy. ' Thou shalt not kill unless it is 
necessary.' Sport is legal, justifiable, and eminently proper 
when the game can be used, but it is only a dog that wiU worry a 
cat to enjoy the blood lust. It is only an odoriferous civet that 
will creep into a hen coop and suck the blood of one hen after 
another to see how many it can kfil. And that was what hap- 
pened in Southern California when Los Angeles had fifty thousand 
inhabitants. l^Tow it has almost six hundred thousand, and tons 
of fish, the day's catch of one hundred hand-hners, are not towed 
out into the channel and thrown away. The Tuna Club stopped 
this desecration by educating the people, and with the other clubs 
of the country it is still educating them, as there will always 
be some who fish to kill ; we have not reached the millennium. The 
Tuna Club accomplished what is conceived to be a remarkable 
reform by organizing and setting a fashion in angling. It was 
useless to ridicule or abuse a man for fishing with a hand-line 
and catching a yeUowtail in three minutes with a small rope ; but 
you could appeal to his pride and vanity, and without his knowing 
it. Few men or women care to be very much out of the fashion. 
So the Tuna Club was organized, funds raised for clubhouse ; 
but we could not secure the land on Avalon Bay ; this came later. 
We organized as a fishing club of gentlemen who had taken a one 
hundred-pound tuna with a sixteen-ounce rod and a line not over 
No. 24. I had taken a one hundred and eighty-three pound 
tuna a few days before. 2*ro one could vote, but the one hundred 
pound or over, tuna anglers. There were one hundred members 
in a short time, then two or three hundred. There were no dues 


unless one wished to pay them, and such, money was used in the 
purchase of cups, medals of gold and silver. The movement 
took with the public, and business-men anglers gave prizes, until 
the club had cups, medals and tackle enough to almost establish a 

In the meantime a munber of men of national reputation who 
had served the public in conserving its natural resources, were 
elected honorary members. Colonel Eoosevelt was then governor 
of New York, and he was an early member ; later Dr. Gifford 
Pinchot, U.S. Forester and professor of Forestry at Tale ; 
Charles HaUock, the dean of American anglers, James E. Garfield, 
Dr. Henry Van Dyke, J. K. L. Eoss, Dr. David Starr Jordan, 
Dr. George F. Kunz, E. B. Marston, Prince d'Arenberg, and 
many more.' 

The public supposed the Club was organized to catch tunas, 
and so it was, and monsters were landed. But they were all 
taken with rod and reel, and the men who caught them performed 
such prodigies of valour that their battles were often telegraphed 
all over the world. A friend told me that he read an account of 
my capture of a tuna, which sunk the boat and might have 
drowned us a mile or so offshore, in an Italian paper in Italy the 
day following. The wonderful part of it to the Italians was that 
the big fish was taken with a rod. 

A tournament was now organized, to last from May to October, 
and prizes offered in the various classes. First came the tuna, 
and the Club, which had taken as its motto ' The Protection of 
the fishes of California for a higher development of the art of 
angUng,' stated in a little book which it published and gave away, 
that the members of the Club had decided that such and such 
tackle was fair for the tuna and offered the general public the 
following prizes for the largest fish of the season ; the second 
and third largest, etc. Then followed the list which I copy from 
the little book of 1912. The prizes have increased in number 
in fourteen years : 



Tuna {Thunnus TJiynnus). 

Banning Guf — For exceeding Club record, 251 pounds : silver loving 
cup, presented by the Banning Company. Winner's name engraved on 
cup each, season ; cup remains property of the Club. 

Earlscliffe Cup — ^For exceeding his record, 180 pounds, under 1898 
Club Rules (barring drags) : silver loving cup, presented by Mr. H. Earls- 
cHfEe, Santa Barbara, Cal. Winner's name engraved on cup each season ; 
cup to become property of angler winning it two times. 

Burns Cup — For exceeding Club record, 251 pounds : silver loving 
cup, presented by Colonel Dan M. Bums, San Francisco, Cal. 

Morehous Gwp. — For exceeding Club record, 251 pounds : sUver loving 
cup, presented by Colonel C. P. Morehous, Pasadena, Cal. 

Cluh Medal. — ^For largest of season over 100 pounds : gold medal, 
presented by the Tuna Club. Winner's name engraved on bar each 
season ; medal remains property of the Club. 

McMillan Medal — For first Tuna of season over 100 pounds : gold 
medal, presented by Mr. W. N. McMiUan, Nairobi, British East Africa. 
Winner's name engraved on bar each season ; medal remains property 
of Club. 

Stearns Prize — For exceeding his record, 197 pounds : Edward Vom 
Hofe tuna reel, presented by Colonel J. E. Stearns, Los Angeles, Cal. 

Goxe Prize — Reel to the member taking largest tuna of season over 
100 poimds, presented by J. A. Coxe. 

Chinn Prize— FoT second tuna of season over 100 pounds : gold medal, 
value $50, presented by Geo. E. Gunn, Salt Lake City. 

Enterprise Manufacturing Co. 's Prize-^'Foi largest of season over 100 
poimds, taken by lady angler : Pflueger's Patented Inlaid Reel, No. 729, 
presented by the Enterprise Manufacturing Co., Akron, Ohio. 

Holder Consolation Cup — ^For smallest of season : miniature loving 
cup, presented by Chas P. Holder, Pasadena, Cal. 

Brock Medal — To the Club member taking the largest tuna of season 
over 100 pounds : gold medal, presented by Brock & Co., Los Angeles. 
Winner's name engraved on bar each season ; medal remains property of 
the Club. 

Club Prizes — ^For First, Second and Third largest of season, respec- 
tively : gold, silver and bronze medallions, presented by Tuna Club. 

Then came the prizes for the swordfish of various sizes. The 
prizes are as follows : 

SwOEDFiSH {Tetrapterus mitsukurii). 
Holder Cup — For largest of season : silver loving cup, presented by 

Fig. 50. The Tuna CJut, Avalon, Santa Catalina Island, California. 



Chas. F. Holder, Pasadena, Cal. Winner's name engraved on cup each, 
season ; cup to become property of angler winning it two times. 

Victoria Alden Cup — For largest of season : silver cup, presented by 
Dr. B. F. Alden, San Francisco. Souvenir cup to winner. 

McMillan Medal — For first swordfish of season over 200 pounds : gold 
medal, presented by Mr. W. N. McMillan, Nairobi, British East Africa. 
Winner's name engraved on bar each season ; medal remains property 
of Club. 

Club Prizes — ^For First, Second and Third largest of season, respec- 
tively : gold, silver and bronze medaUions, presented by the Tuna Club. 

Black Sea Bass {Stereolepis gigas). 

Tufts-Lyon Cup — For exceeding Club record, 436 pounds : silver 
loving cup, presented by the Tufts-Lyon Arms Co., Los Angeles, Cal. 
Winner's name engraved on cup, which remains property of the Club. 

Rider-Macomber Medal — For largest of season : gold medal, presented 
by Mr. Frank V. Rider and Dr. H. K. Macomber, Pasadena, Cal. Winner's- 
name engraved on bar each season ; medal remains property of the Club. 

White Sea Bass (Cynoscion Ndbilis). 

Under Tackle Specifications of Tuna class : 

Harding Medal — For exceeding Club record : 60 pounds : gold medal, 
presented by Mr. C. H. Harding, Philadelphia, Pa. Winner's name 
engraved on bar ; medal remains property of the Club. 

A light tackle class was next introduced. The tackle had to be a- 
nine-ounce rod not under six feet, a nine-thread line. The angler, as- 
in other classes, to land his fish unaided. In this class, which was- 
suggested and formulated by Mr. Arthur J. Eddy, the prizes for 1912 
were as follows : 

Ttjna {Thunnus macropterus). 

Potter Tuna Cup — For largest of season over 50 pounds : silver loving 
cup, presented by Mr. Thos. McD. Potter, Los Angeles, Cal. Winner's 
name engraved on cup each season ; cup remains property of Club. 
Winner presented with souvenir cup. 

Tufts-Lyon Prize — For largest of season : hand-made light tackle sj lit- 
bamboo rod, presented by the Tufts-Lyon Arms Co., Los Angeles, Cal. 

Newport Prize — For largest tuna over 50 pounds, killed on light tackle r 
reel and case, presented by Fred. T. Newport. 

Club Prizes — For First, Second and Third largest of season respec- 
tively : gold, silver and bronze medalUons, presented by the Tuna Club. 

25 385 


Ybllowtail {Seriola dor salts). 

Western Hardware <fe Arms Co. Cup — ^For largest of season : silver 
loving cup, presented by the Western Hardware & Arms Co., of Los 
Angeles, Cal. Winner's name engraved on cup each season ; cup to 
become property of angler winning it two times. 

Nordlinger Cup — ^For largest of season taken by lady angler : silver 
loving cup, presented by S. Nordlinger' Sons, Los Angeles, Cal. Winner's 
name engraved on cup each season ; cup remains property of the Club. 
Winner presented with souvenir cup. 

Oillies Medal — ^For largest of season : diamond medal, presented by Mr. 
Donald B. Gillies, Tonopah, Nev. Winner's name engraved on bar each 
season ; medal remains property of the Club. 

Simpson Prize — For exceeding his record, 60 J pounds : gold ring, made 
"by native gold workers of Madras, India, presented by Mr. W. W. Simpson, 
of WhaUey, England. 

Club Prizes — For First, Second and Third largest of season respective- 
ly : gold, silver and bronze medallions, presented by the Tuna Club. 

White Sea Bass {Cynoscion ndbilis). 

Nordlinger Cup — For largest of season : silver loving cup, presented by 
S. Nordhnger's Sons, Los Angeles, Cal. Winner's name engraved on cup 
each season ; medal remains property of the Club. 

The Potter Medal — ^For largest of season : gold medal, presented by Mr. 
T. Mc.D. Potter. 

Club Prizes — For First, Second and Third largest of season, respective- 
ly : gold, silver and bronze medallions, presented by the Tuna Club. 

Long-fin Tuna {AWacore). 

Montgomery Bros. Cup — For largest of season, taken by lady angler : 
silver loving cup, presented by Montgomery Bros., Los Angeles, Cal. 
Winner's name engraved on cup each season ; cup remains property of 
Club. Winner presented with souvenir cup. 

Hogee Gup — For largest of season : silver loving cup, presented by 
W. H. Hogee, Los Angeles, Cal. Winner's name engraved on cup each 
season ; cup to remain property of angler winning it three times. 

Whitley Co. Medal — For largest of season : gold medal, presented by 
the Whitley Co., Los Angeles, Cal. Winner's name engraved on bar each 
season ; medal remains property of the Club. 

Club Prizes — For First, Second and Third largest of season, respective- 
ly : gold, silver and bronze medallions, presented by the Tuna Club. 

BoNiTO (Sarda chilensis) : 

Harding Cup — ^For largest of season : silver loving cup, presented by 


Mr. P. L. Harding, Philadelphia, Pa. Winner's name engraved on cup 
each season ; cup to become property of angler wiiming it three times. 


Mattison Cup — For angler exceeding his record of 25 J pounds in 1907 : 
silver loving cup, presented by Dr. P. C. Mattison, Pasadena, Cal. 

For Laeqest Pish. 

Brewster Medal — Por largest of season (including Black Sea Bass) : gold 
medal, presented by Mr. Edwin H. Brewster, Los Angeles, Cal. Winner's 
name engraved on bar each season ; medal remains property of the Qub. 

Eddy Cup — ^For largest gold button fish of season : silver loving cup, 
presented by Mr. Arthur J. Eddy, Chicago, 111. Winner's name engraved 
on cup each season ; cup remains property of the Club. 


The Club was progressing, and Mr. Thomas McD. Potter introduced 
what he called a Three-Six Class for yellowtail only, giving a $500 silver 
cup as a trophy. The specifications read as follows — 

Theee-Six Class of the Tuna Club. 

An angler using Three-Six tackle is given a handicap of 25 per cents 
in his favour as against Light Tackle. Thus, a yellowtail of sixteen pounds, 
caught on Three-Six tackle earns a bronze button ; one of twenty-four 
pounds, a silver button; one of thirty-two pounds, a gold button. 
The complete table follows — 






. 16 pounds. 

24 pounds. 

32 pounds, 


. 16 „ 

28 „ 

40 „ 

White Sea-Bass . 

. 16 „ 

28 „ 

40 „ 

Tuna . 

. 16 „ 

28 „ 

40 „ 

Three-Six Class. — ^Rod to be of wood, consisting of a butt and tip, and 
to be not over fourteen inches in length. Tip not less than five feet in 
length, and to weigh not more than six ounces. Line not to exceed 
standard nine-thread. Line. — The standard set by this club for the line 
to be used under its rules, is as follows : thehne to be a standard linen line, 
manufactured solely from the grade of hnen yam known in the trade as 
' No. 50.' 

It was necessaj-y to interest the clever boatmen of Avalon in 



this subject and the Club early began to offer prizes to them, of 
which the following are the specifications : 

AwABDS TO Boatmen. 

Potter-Streeter Oup — For boatman qualifying largest number of anglers 
under tackle specifications of Light Tackle Class : silver loving cup, pre- 
sented by Mr. Thos. McD. Potter, Los Aageles, Cal., and Mr. L. P. Streeter, 
Chicago, lU. Winner's name engraved on cup each season ; cup remains 
property of Club . Souvenir cup to winner. 

Potter-Streeter Three-Six Cv/p — For boatman qualifyiug largest number 
of anglers under tackle specifications of Three-Six Class : cup, presented by 
Messrs. Potter and Streeter. 


Hooper Prize — For professional boatman to angler taking largest of 
season over 100 pounds, from a launch : cash prize of $50, presented 
by A. W. Hooper, Boston, Mass. 

Stearns Prize — For boatman who takes the largest number of tuna 
over 100 pounds from October 1, 1911, to October 1, 1912 : cash prize of 
$25, presented by J. E. Steams, Los Angeles, Cal. 

Club Prize — For boatman to angler taking first of season over 100 
pounds : tuna rod. 

Club Prize — For boatman to angler taking largest of season over 100 
pounds : tuna rod. 


Stearns Prize — For boatman who takes the largest number of swordfish 
from October 1, 1911, to October 1, 1912, cash prize of $25, presented by 
J. E. Stearns, Los Angeles, Cal. 

Club Prize — For boatman to angler taking first of season over 100 
pounds : tuna rod. 

Club Prize — For boatman to angler taking largest of season : tuna rod. 

Black Sea Bass. 

Club Prize — For boatman to angler taking largest of season : tuna rod. 
Club Prize — For boatman to angler taking second largest of season, 
900 feet of 24-thread line. 


Reyes Prize — For boatman to angler taking largest of season : No. 4 
Anoco camera and leather case, presented by Mr. P. V. Reyea. 



The result of this was apparent at once. The catches made 
with rod and reel aroused great interest all over the country as 
the fish were large, the lines used the size I used for trout and 
black bass when a boy ; now two hundred and fifty-one pound 
tuna, four hundred and fifty pound black sea bass, fifty pound 
white sea bass, sixty pound yellowtaU, three hundred pound 
swordfish, were taken with these Unes. In the face of so much 
skill and the new mode, the visiting public began to regard the 
old hand-line as a rehc of the dark ages. Again, the sporting 
spirit became apparent, and the public wished to fish for a prize 
and the little blue button that told the story of a battle with the 
big game. So the boatmen were obliged to equip their boats 
with rods of the prevailing weight and fashion, but not for this 
reason. They thoroughly believed in the good work and the 
higher standard, and naturally they wished to win the prizes and 
to have their patrons win them. As a result, in a marvellously 
brief period, out of the small army of boatmen (the angling in- 
vestment is now valued at $200,000), one could not be found 
who would carry a handUne ia his boat or aUow one to be used. 
It was an archaic device and a man would be ridiculed who did. 
Presto ! and hundreds of rods, the finest Vom Hofe and other reels, 
lines costing $3 and $4, became the equipment, and a standard 
of sport of the highest character became the fixed rule at Santa 
Catalina. There was no complaint. Every one was delighted, 
as it enhanced the sport a hundredfold and accomplished the 
prime desideratum — an absolute halt in the waste of fish. Why ? 
The angler will have suspected it. The directors of the Tuna Club 
reduced the tackle to such seeming ephemeral Kmits, made the 
lines so Ught, the rods so beautifully adjusted to the work, that 
the man who had been in the habit of fishing for numbers, pulling 
in, in a few minutes, three or four big fish when they were biting 
savagely, now found that to take a sixty-pound yeUowtail on 
the 9-9-tackle took him possibly half an hour, but gave him better 
sport than he had ever dreamed of. Also, the man who fished 
for a thirty-pound yeUowtail with a 3-6 rod and line, found tha 



he was accomplishing what appeared to be an angling miracle 
worked out by Mr. Potter for his special benefit though it 
took him a half hour to land his fish that perhaps was only a 
seventeen pounder. 

The reader will see the point. The man who had a natural 
craving, what the late Professor McGee of the Department of 
Ethnology called a ' blood lust,' suddenly discovered what real 
sport is ; also the gentleman's conception of sport, that it is 
against all the laws of God or Nature to destroy life and throw it 
away. The result is that an exalted standard of sport has been 
established at Santa OataUna, and as two hundred and fifty thou- 
sand, or more people visit the field of the Tuna Club per annum 
the lesson has been far-reaching. K"ot to burden the reader too 
much with the machinery of this humanitarian proposition, I 
will quote the specification and rules which must be observed, and 
are observed, by most of the anglers who fish here, though it must 
not be imagined that every one who visits the locality strives 
for a prize or cares for a button. The man who is an angler and 
who knows how to fish is not in need of buttons, though it is a 
fact that all fish by the rule for the simple reason that it appeals 
to man as pre-eminently fair ; it is the square deal applied to the 

The fourteenth annual tournament of the Club has recently 
closed, and as a matter of interest, the following results are given. 
A winter tournament is now held to meet the demands of the 
winter or tourist contingent. The Tuna Club has several hundred 
members, and an associate class of several hundred who have 
all the privileges of the Club, except voting, the actual manage- 
ment being in the hands of men who are entitled to wear the blue 
button, or have won it. In fourteen years but seventy-six men 
have qualified under this test. The Club takes an active interest 
in the fisheries and the state laws. It has employed deputies 
to enforce the game law^ and stands with the law. The clubhouse, 
which is the property of the Club, the money to purchase it 
having been paid by the dues of members all over the country, 


stands over the smooth, waters of Avalon Bay, but five minutes 
walk from the Kotel Metropole and the pier. The upper story 
of the unostentatious clubhouse is devoted to rooms and baths j 
the lower to the rod and tackle room, the office of the honorary 
secretary, Mr. T. S. Manning, and the spacious lounge which 
faces the water and which bears the remarkable records of the Club 
from the Colonel C. P. Morehous two hundred and fifty-one 
pound tuna to the three hundred and thirty-six pound swordfish 
of Mr. Conn, and the forty-nine pound yeUowtail of Mr. Beebe. 
Here is the only specimen of the ' Luvarus Jack ' known ; one 
of the rarest and most beautiful of fishes, silver and scarlet. By 
it hangs the great opah, so rare that few have ever seen it. Among 
the preserved specimens is a large ribbon-fish, one of six or eight 
that have been taken here. On the walls hang also dolphin^ 
barracuda, golden trout, big rainbow, bonito, record white sea- 
bass, three kinds of tunas — ^leaping, long-fin and yeUow-fin — ^and 
practically every game fish found in this remarkable region, 
presumably the meeting ground of the fishes of the world. Near 
by are the cups and trophies of the Club, the library, with it& 
collection of authors' books, members of the Club, as Colonel 
Eoosevelt, Dr. Henry Van Dyke, Mr, Marston, editor of the 
Fishing Gazette, London, Mr. Aflalo, Charles Hallock, Dr. Gifford 
Pinchot and others. Here are the journals of the day relating to 
anghng, and a set of scrapbooks containing the photographs, 
of the notable catches of the Club for fourteen years, probably 
without equal in any club in the world. 

This is particularly true of swordfish, this being the only 
locality where this fish is taken with rod and reel. On the upper 
story the Club has a branch of the U. S. Weather Bureau for the 
benefit of the town of Avalon and vicinity, and a system of signals 
for passing vessels. It also keeps a careful record of the climatie 
conditions. A nautical air is given to the Club by its broad veran- 
dah in front, a stair leading doTvn to a floating dock ; and on either 
side of the wharf are swung ships davits and small boats of the 
members. In summer when the yachts of the coast and else- 



T^here are in Avalon bay the Club presents a gay scene, and is 
the centre of interesting life, often including anglers from all over 
the world. 

The Club, as has been stated, has affiliations with a number 
of clubs in America, England and France, ensuring visiting mem- 
bers of these clubs a hospitable greeting and practical honorary 
membership while at the Club. The season of 1912 was notable, 
due to the extraordinary contests with swordfish. The season 
extended into November. The last one hundred and fifty^ 
pound swordfish, making one hundred for the season with rod 
and reel, was caught on the third of lifovember. 

A remarkable club has been formed in Texas on the Gulf of 
Mexico — the Aransas Pass Tarpon Club. The story of hght tackle 
a-t this club, of which Mr. Hooper of Boston is president, and Mr. 
Cotter honorary secretary, is partly told in the chapter on the 
Silver King. The town of Aransas, is a small settlement at the en- 
trance of the Pass and a stone's throw from the water where the 
best of tarpon fishing is to be had, usually imder the most favour- 
able conditions. The Club holds to a high standard of sport, 
and has many prizes and trophies which are fished for each year 
and which serve in estabUshing a high standard of sportsman- 

In San Francisco there are several clubs devoted to striped 
bass, to salmon, and to casting. In Los Angeles there is a large 
and influential club, the Southern California Eod andEeel Club, 
under the presidency of Max Loewenthal, a distinguished attorney 
of that city. The field of endeavour of this club is the long coast, 
twenty or thirty miles up and down the shore, where the surf- 
fish, croaker, yellowtail and various large fishes are taken. The 
Olub has a series of prizes approximating those of the Tuna Club 
and modelled after it in a way. It uses a stiU lighter tackle, known 
as the ' 3-4,' the rod very light, and the line an ephemeral fabric. 
Mr. Shaver, who designed the tackle, has made some remarkable 
catches, as well as Mr. Hedderly, who was the founder of the Club 
that has taken a very active interest in fishing legislation in CaU- 



Fig. 51. Members of the Tuna Club and their Launches, in the Tournament. 

Santa Catalina Island, California. 
1. F. G. Aflalo, of England, Founder of British Sea Anglers' Society. 2. Mr. Jones. 3. Mrs. 
Manning landing a Yellow Tail. 4 Mr. Murphy, and a big Sword Fish just gaffed, p. 392. 


fornia, haYing the best interests of the anglers and the professional 
fishermen at heart. 

All the American clubs show the advantage of organized- effort 
to obtain just game laws and their enforcement, and were it 
not for the laws and the sportsmanlike anglers, the fishes of lake, 
stream and ocean would be wiped out of existence, so unreasoning 
and souUess is the average class that purports to provide the 
pubUc with its legal and lawful patrimony of the sea. 

The Asbury Park (N.J.) Fishing Club gives tournaments, and 
the following are the records and awards for the season of 1911 : 

Striped Bass — First taken, Ed. J. Waters, 15 pounds ; largest, Horace 
Butcher, 30 pounds, 4 ounces ; second largest, William Fenrich, 21 pounds, 
4 ounces ; third largest, W. W. Scheffler, 18 pounds, 3 ounces ; greatest 
number of fish taken, W. H. Schwartz, five fish ; largest amount of 
pounds, James A. Mackintosh ; fourth largest, Ed. J Waters, 15 pounds ; 
largest taken on a Seger rod, Wm. W. Scheffler, 18 poimds, 3 ounces ; 
fifth largest, Gus Popkan, 14 pounds, 5 ounces ; largest taken in October, 
Chas. 0. Perry, Jr., 6 pounds, 8 ounces ; the last taken during year, Geo. 
C. Borden, 3 pounds, 13 ounces ; largest taken at night, Wm. W. Scheffler, 
18 pounds, 3 ounces ; sixth largest, Wm. H. Schwartz, 14 pounds, 4 
ounces ; for largest taken by member who has not caught any since 
joining the club, Horace Butcher ; greatest aggregate weight, month 
of June, W. W. Scheffler ; largest taken month of June, W. W. Scheffler ; 
largest month of July, Wm. Fenrich, 21 pounds, 4 ounces ; largest month of 
August, Horace Butcher, 30 pounds, 4 ounces ; largest month of Septem- 
ber, Wm. H. Schwartz, 14 pounds, 4 ounces. 

Channel Bass — Largest, B. Weisenfeld, 40 pounds, 11 ounces ; second 
largest, W. C. Glass, 39 pounds, 9 ounces ; greatest aggregate weight, 
month of September, B. Weisenfeld, eight fish weighing 221 pounds, 2 
ounces ; third largest, Robert Wiechert, 39 pounds, 3 ounces ; fourth 
largest, A. Clayton, 34 pounds, 1 ounce ; fifth largest, Harry W. Metz, 33 
pounds, 4 ounces ; sixth largest, John F. Seger, 33 pounds ; seventh largest, 
Fred Wilkie, 32 pounds ; largest, month of September, B. Weisenfeld, 
40 pounds 11 ounces. 

TuTM — Largest, Capt. H. H. Maddox, 44 pounds, 12 ounces ; second 
largest, Jos. B. Cawthorn, 25 pounds, 2 ounces. 

Bluefish — First taken, H. K. Satow ; largest, W. Harry Scott, 
3 pounds, 5 ounces ; largest aggregate weight, five fish, Jesse T. Meeker, 
14 pounds, 10 ounces ; largest taken off shore, Capt. H. H. Maddox, 



9 pounds ; largest aggregate, two off shore, Capt. H. H. Maddox, 
16 pounds, 8 ounces. 

Kingfish — ^First taken, J. M. Gentle ; largest, Dr. J. L. Dulaney, 

2 pounds, 4 ounces. 

Plaice — First taken, H. R. Woodward ; largest, John Vogler, 6 pounds, 

9 ounces ; second largest, C. L. Woodruff, 6 pounds, 7 ounces ; largest 
aggregate, five fish from beach, John Vogler, 15 pounds, 9 ounces. 

Weakfish — First taken, Jos. Dettrich ; largest, C. M. Wyrant, 
4 pounds, 4 ounces ; largest aggregate weight of five fish from beach, Chas. 
0. Perry, Jr., 9 pounds, 1 ounce ; largest taken off shore, H. C. Rydell, 
6 pounds, 7 ounces. 

Deep Sea Fishing — Sea bass, largest, Capt. H. H. Maddox, 4 pounds, 

10 ounces ; largest aggregate, two. Captain H. H. Maddox, 8 pounds, 
14 ounces ; largest porgy, Hartie I. PhUips ; largest blackfish, Horace 
Dutcher, 8 pounds, 8 ounces. 

Ladies' Prizes — ^Largest striped bass, Mrs. J. A. Mackintosh, 8 pounds, 
9 ounces ; second largest striped bass, Mrs. J. A. Mackintosh, 2 pounds, 

3 ounces ; largest kingfish, Mrs. J. A. Mackintosh, 1 pound, 10 ounces. 
L. P. Streeter Cup-rLa,igest Bass, 9-9 tackle. 

France lias a large number of interesting and influential clubs, 
and it is to be hoped that Prince d'Arenberg can interest them all 
to join and give France the protection for its game found in 
England. Some of the clubs are as follows : 

' Soci^t6 de Pisciculture et de P§che,' Aix-Les-Bains 
(Savoie) ; President : M. J. Chiron. ' Le P^cheur Solognot,' 
Argent (Cher). ' La Truite Auxiloise,' Auxi-Le-Chateau (Pas- 
de-Calais) ; PrSsident : M. G. Maincourt. ' La Conservatrice,' 
Baneins (Ain) ; President : M. Comby, propri^taire. ' Soci6t6 
amicale des P^cheurs k la Ugne Bayonnais,' Bayonne 
(Basses-Pyr^n^es) ; PrSsident : M. J. B. DoUiats. ' Soci^t6 
des PScheurs k la Ugne,' Boulogne-sur-Mer (Pas-de-Oalais) ; 
President : M. E. Canu. ' Syndicat des PScheurs k la Ugne de 
Brioude,' Brioude [(Haute-Loire), ' La Truite de I'Ouv^ze,' 
Buies-Les-Baronnies (Drdme) ; PrSsident : M. Jacquet Armand. 
' Soci6t6 de p§che et de pisciculture,' Cany (Seine-Inf6rieure) ; 
PrSsident : M. A. Bapaume. ' Les Francs-P6cheurs,' Cham- 
bery (Savoie) ; PrSsident : M. F. Cognard. ' La Gaule E^gionale 
Champagnolaise,' Champagnole (Jura) ; President : M. Louis 


Bassaud. ' La Matinale,' Charleville (Ardennes) ; President : 
M. E. Mar^clial. ' Soci6t6 Amicale des Pdcheurs k la ligne,' 
Compifegne (Oise) ; PrSsident : M. Delondre. ' Soci^t^ des 
Pgcheiirs k la Ugne de Dieppe et des environs,' Dieppe (Seine- 
Inf^iienre) ; President : M. Etienne Mallet. ' L'Hamecon ' 
(C6tes-du-Nord), Dina ; President : M. F. Eouault. 
' Les Francs Ganleurs Doldis,' Dole (Jura); President: 
M. J. Coutou. ' La Tniite,' Donzy (Mfevre) ; PrSsident : 
M. J. Perreau. ' L'Authie,' DouUens (Somme) ; PrSsident : 
M. G. Sydenham. ' Soci4t6 des Pecheurs ^ la Ugne d'Evergni- 
court,' Evergnicourt (Aisne) ; President : M. Eoudier, maire 
d'Evergniconrt. ' La Ganle Fougeraise,' Foug^res (Ule-et- 
Valaine) ; President : M. L. Eonssel. ' Soci6t6 Amicale des 
P^chenrs ^ la Ugne de Gray,' Gray (Haut-Sa6ne) ; President : 
M. A. Gxdllemant. ' L' Amicale des PScheurs k la Ugne de 
Gu^ret,' Gu^ret (Creuse) ; PrSsident : M. Jamot. ' L'Epinoche 
Langraise,' Langres (Hante-Marne) ; PrSsident : M. E. Prudon. 
' Soci^t6 des P§clieurs ^ la Ugne de I'Arrondissement de Lorient,' 
Lorient (Morbihan) ; President : M. Enule Blin. ' Club des 
Pgchenrs Sportifs de Lyon,' Lyon (Ehdne) ; PrSsident : M. 
Girardon. ' Le Goujon Marmandais,' Marmande (Lot-et- 
Garonne) ; PrSsident : M. Eousseau. ' La Ganle Mendoise,' Mende 
(Lozfere) ; PrSsident : M. P. B^chard. ' La|Gaule Monterelaise,' 
Montereau-Fault-Yonne (Seine-et-Mame) ; PrSsident : M. Gar- 
davot. ' La SentineUe,' Montlucon (AUier) ; PrSsident : M. 
Eobert ViUate Des Prugnes. ' Soci^t^ amicale des Peclieurs k 
la Ugne de Montreml-snx-Mer,' Montreml-snr-Mer (Pas-de- 
Calais) ; PrSsident : M. Delpierre. ' La Tmite,' Moret-Sur-Loing 
(Seine-et-Marne) ; PrSsident : M. de Brequeville. ' La Ganle des 
OlU^res,' OUiferes (Les) (Ard^che) ; PrSsident : M. MonUn. ' La 
Truite Appam^enne,' Pamiers (Aiifege). ' Syndicat des PgcUenrs k 
la Ugne de Pontivy,' Pontivy (Morbihan) ; PrSsident : M. Grainche. 
' Soci6t6 des P§cheurs k la Ugne de la VaUe d'Auge,' Pont- 
L'Evgque (Calvados). ' Soci4t6 Amicale des Pdchenrs k la 
Ugne " Le Gardon," ' Proisy (Aisne) ; PrSsident : M. Alfred 



Demay. ' Soci6t6 des Pechettrs de Quimper,' Quimper (Finistfere). 
' Soci6t6 de Peche " Le Carpeau," ' Eambouillet (Seine-Oise) ; 
President : Albert Barrert. ' SocI6t6 de P^clie et de Pisciculture 
de Eoanne et du Coteau,' Eoanne (Loire) ; Vice-President : 
M. Claudius Charpenet. ' Soci6t6 des Pgcheurs h la Ugne de 
Mortinais,' Saint-HUaire-Du-Harcouet (Manche) ; President : 
M. Lebret. ' La Goujonnifere Saint-Mihil^ois^,' Saint-Mihiel ; 
President : M. Malard. ' Les Amis de la Gaule,' Saint-Pol- 
sur-Ternoise (Pas-de-Calais) ; President : M. Leopold CasteUn. 
' Le Barbeau,' Tannay (Mfevre) ; President: M. J. Denoux. 
' La Protectrice de la Dore,' Thiers (Puy-de-Ddme) ; President : 
M. A. Vaillie. ' Le Nenuphar Thouarsais,' Thouars (Deux- 
Sfevres) ; President: M. A. Jouet, 'La Bienfaisante,' Tournus 
(8an6ne-et-Loire) ; President : M. P. Benoit. ' Le Barbillon,' 
Vierzon (Cher) ; President : M. L. Cosson. 

The Casting Club of France gives tournaments of great interest 
to anglers in England, Germany and America. The following 
are the events of the tournament of l^ovember 24, 1912, for which 
I am indebted to M. -L. Bougie : 

Sunday, Novbmbek 24. 

Event No. 1. — Bait-Casting, Distance, 40 grammes. — Class A (seniors). 
— First, Louche, 70 metres ; second, Maymou, 64.75 metres ; third, 
Hughes, 58.50 metres. Gass B (juniors). — First, Cognard, 62.25 metres ; 
second, Desrues, 57 metres. 

Event No.2. — Distance, Bait, 15 grammes. — Class A. — First, Decantelle, 
54.50 metres ; second. Bougie, 52.25 metres. — Class B. — First, Berges, 
58.10 metres ; second, Chaintron, 54.40 metres. 

Event No. 3. — Distance Bait, 7.5 grammes. — Class A. — First, Bougie, 
36.65 metres ; second, Camus, 33.65 metres ; third, Hughes, 30.25 metres. 
Class B. — ^First, Deiches, 40.30 metres ; second, Berges, 35.80 metres. 

Event'No. 4.— Accuracy, Bait, 15 grammes. — ^First, Hughes, 30 points ; 
second. Louche, 24 points ; third, Camus, 19 points. 

Event No. 5. — Distance, Bait, 70 grammes. — Class A. — First, Berg&i, 
90.50 metres; second, Decantelle, ,89 metres; third, Louche, 71.25 
metres. Class B. — First, Maymou, 90 metres ; second, Deiches, 68 
metres ; third, Cognard, 67.75 metres. 

Event No. 6. — Accuracy, Bait, 7.5 grammes. — First, Bougie, 38 points ; 
second, Hughes, 33 points ; third, Berges, 29 points. 



Monday, November 25. 

Event No. 7. — Trout-Fly, Distance, Switch. — Class A. — First, Hughes, 
22.75 metres ; second, Decantelle, 22 metres. Class B. — First, Berges, 18 
metres ; second, Deiches, 17 metres. 

Event No. 8. — Salmon-Fly, Distance, Switch. — Class A. — First, Hughes, 
29.50 metres ; second, DecanteUe, 25.25 metres. Class B. — First, Berges, 
24.75 metres ; second. Louche, 21 metres. 

Event No. 9. — Trout-Fly, Accuracy. — First, Seutin ; second, Telquel ; 
third. Louche ; fourth, Camus. 

Event No. 10. — Trout-Fly, Distance, Light Bods. — Class A. — First, 
Seutin, 26.50 metres ; second, Hughes, 26 metres. Class B. — First, 
Deiches, 24 metres ; second. Louche, 23.75 metres. 

Event No. 11 — Trout-Fly, Distance. — Class A. — First, Hughes, 28.75 
metres ; second, Seutin, 28.50 metres. Class B. — First, Telquel, 24.25 
metres ; second, Camus, 23 metres. 

Event No. 12. — Salmon-Fly, Distance. — Class A. — First, Hughes, 33.25 
metres ; second, Decantelle, 31.50 metres. Class B. — Berges and Seutin 
(tie), 32 metres. Tie was not recast. 

Special Prizes. 

No. 1 for total of longest cast in each of the distance bait events. 
Winner : Berges. 

No. 2 for total of longest cast in each of the distance fly events. 
Winner : Hughes. 

No 3 for total of points over the whole tournament. Winner : Hughes. 

No. 4 for total of points in the bait and fly accuracy events. Winner : 



Assuming that the angler is starting from England on an angling tour 
the following are made as suggestions : 

Trip A. 

Leave England in May or April for the St. Lawrence regions for tuna, 
sea-trout, salmon, trout, ounaniche, black bass. The Canadian Lakes 
may be included in a short trip. 

Time tables may be had by applying to the London office of the 
St; Lawrence River line. 

Trip B. 

If the angler has but a short time at his command in winter and desires 
sea angling I would suggest that he go to New York in mid-February, 
six days, then take the train from New York to Key West. Eight or 
ten days from London, one reaches Long Key Camp on the east coast 
of Horida. The hotels are of the finest character on the Florida coast. 
If a little diversion is desired he can go to Key West and in a night run 
over to Havana or to Nassau. This Winter trip includes amber-jack, 
barracuda, etc., but not tarpon. 

Trip C. 

Winter Tarpon. 

If Winter tarpon fishing is required the angler should go to Tampico, 
Mexico. This can be done in steamers from London to Mexican ports, 
or to New York, from there taking steamer. All these lines have offices 
in London. The Southern Pacific are particularly courteous in supplying 

Trip D. 

Tarpon, Swordfish and Tuna. 

The most comprehensive trip I can imagine should take two or three 
months, and includes tarpon, Santa CataUna Island swordfish, tuna, 



yellowtail, kingfish ; is in fact a combination Gulf of Mexico and Pacific 
Coast menage. Call on the Southern Pacific Company, London, for 
timetables, etc., thensailforNew York in June, July or August. Southern 
Pacific steamers from New York to New Orleans, Sunset Line to San 
Antonio, Texas, then to Port Aransas on the Gulf, a day's ride, to the 
Tarpon dub, Mr. Cotter, secretary. Here the tarpon fishing is 
assured. The heat I have found here in August was by no means oppres- 
sive, and it was dehghtful on the water. Tarpon, kingfish, jewfish, 
channel bass, etc., are the game, practically that of Florida. Two or 
three weeks here then via Sunset Line from San Antonio to Los Angeles 
(three days). This brings us to Santa CataUna Island, three hours or 
so from Los Angeles, by the middle of August or September. The tuna 
may and may not be here, but in September 1912, the Tuna Club records 
show one hundred swordfish, and the other game is yellowtail, white sea- 
bass, black sea-bass, etc. The angler can fish this region, then return via. 
the Grand Canyon on the A. T., Santa Fd road, if he is short of time ; 
if not, he should go north on Southern Pacific or Santa Pe road and fish 
Lake Tahoe for the regal trout, the Tahoe trout ; to the Kern River Canyon 
for golden trout ; to Del Monte on the Bay or Monteray for sea sahnon ; 
then to San Prancisco for striped bass ; to the Russian River for steelhead ; 
then to Klamath Lake for big rainbows, and so on north to Vancouver 
for more trout and salmon. 

By addressing the Southern Pacific Company's agent, R. Falack,^in 
London, a pamphlet on the various locahties can be obtained. The tourist- 
angler will perceive that he is swinging around in a great circle trying 
the greatest angling localities in the world, most of which are mentioned 
in this volume. From Vancouver he may go into the splendid Canadian 
Rockies, the Lakes of the Kootenay country to Bamf , Lake Louise, not 
missing the Yellowstone National Park and its angling. To accomplish 
all this properly the start from London should be made in June. From 
Bamf the angler proceeds East to the various trout rivers and streams, 
black bass and muscaUunge, to the Laurentian lakes, etc., finally reaching 
Quebec or New York again, having swtmg completely around the greatest 
angling circle in the world, well worth taking ample time to enjoy. 

^ Mr. Rudolph Falack also has ofSces on the continent, 6, Rue des Peignes, 
Antwerp ; 46, Quai des Chartrous, Bordeaux ; 117, Via Balbi, Gtenoa, Italy; 
22, Rue du Mail, Paris; 49, Leadenhall St., London; 25, Waler Street, 
Liverpool ; 25, Ferdinand Strasse, Hamburg. 




As the present volume does not make an exhaustive presentation of the 
great subject of the Game Fishes of the World, that being impossible in a 
volume of this size, I have given below a number of works, authentic and 
exhaustive, which will give the reader all the details necessary on so large 
a subject : 

' The Rod in India,' H. S. Thomas: Thacker, London, Publisher. 

' A River of Norway,' C. Thomas Stanford. Longmans & Co., London. 

' Book of the All-Round Angler,' ' John Bickerdyke.' Upcott, Gill, 

London, as follows : 
'Wild Sports in L'eland.' 

' Days of My Life on Waters IVesh and Salt.' 
' Sea Letters to Sea Fishers.' 
' Anghng for Coarse Fish.' 
' Angling for Pike.' 
' AngUng for Game Fish.' 
' Angling in Salt Waters,' by the same author. 

Works of F. G. Aflalo, as follows. 

' Sea Fishing on the EngUsh Coast.' Upcott, Gill Co., London. 

' Sunset Play Grounds. Scribners. 

' The Salt of my Life.' 

' Encyclopaedia of Sport.' 

' Sport in Europe.' Sands & Co. 

' The Call of the Sea.' E. Grant Richards. 

' Fishes of England,' by Day. 

' Fishes of India,' by Day. 

' The Outdoor Library.' Scribners. 

' Bass, Pike, Perch and Others,' by Jas. A. Henshall» MacmiUian & Co. 

' The Black Bass.' 

' The Dry Fly in America,' Dr. EmHn Gill. 

' American Fishes,' Prof. G. Brown Goode: Estes & Lauriate. 

' The Works of Dr. Henry Van Dyke.' 

' Fishes,' 2 vols., Dr. David Starr Jordan. Henry Holt & Co. 

' American Food and Game Fishes,' Jordan. Doubleday & Page. 



' Ksh Stories,' Holder & Jordan. Henry Holt & Co. 

' Game Fishes of the U.S,' Holder. MacmiUian & Co. 

' Sea Game Fishes of America,' Holder: The Outing Co. 

' The Channel Islands of Cahfomia,' Holder. A. C. McQurg, Chicago. 

' The Fishes of the Pacific Coast.' Dodge & Co. 

' Recreations of a Sportsman,' Holder. Putnam Sons. 

' Big Game at Sea,' Holder. The Outing Co. 

The Works of R. B. Marston. 

' Walton and the EarUer Fishing Writers.' Elliott, Stock, London. 

' Salmon trout,' by Dean Sage. MacmiUan & Co. 

Papers of the British Sea Anglers Society. 

' Sport Fishing in Alpine Austria.' The Board of Trade, Vienna. 

The Game Fishes of the Pacific Coast. Southern Pacific Co., San. 

' The Fishing Tourist,' Charles Hallock. 

' Idyls of Fishermen,' HaU. The Columbia University Press. 
' Sports in the Scotch Highlands,' St. John 
' The Log of a Sea Angler,' Holder. Houghton, Miflin & Co. 

Books of the U.S. Fish Commission. 

' Anghng Sketches,' Andrew Lang. 

' The Trout,' Marquis of Granby. Longmans & Co. 

' The Salmon,' Hon. A. E. Gathome Hardy. Longmans & Co. 

' Fishing in American Waters,' Genio C. Scott. 

' The Badminton Library of Fishes.' 

' The Rivers and Streams of England.' 

Guide to Fishes and LocaUties in the United States. 

' The Field and Stream,' New York. 

' Forest and Stream,' ' Outing'Magazine,' ' Field and Stream,' ' The Ameri- 
can Field Recreation,' are Journals devoted to anghng and sports. 

' The Field,' ' Fishing Gazette,' ' Anghng News,' and many more in 

' The Angler's Diary.' 19, Adams St., London. 

' The Sporting Fish of Great Britain,' Mr. Cholmondely PenneU. 

' The Book of the Salmon,' Yoimg. 

' The British and Irish Salmonidae,' by Day. 

' Salmon Problems.' 

' The Tweed.' 

' Fly Rods and Fly Tackle,' Walls. 

' Salmon Fishing with a Fly,' Badminton Library. 

' Salmon and Sea Trout,' Sir Herbert Maxwell. 

'Aquatic Researches of the Hawaiian Islands,* David Starr Jordan and 
Barton W. Evermann. 

Pubhcations of the U.S. Fish Commission. 

26 401 


Abrwmis, see Bream 

Accmihocybmm solendri, see Petos 

Albacore, the, 112, 148 

Albula vulpes, 171 

Albumus, 42 

Aleutian Islands, 174 

Amber-fish, the, 152 

Angel-fish, red, 147 ; black, 223 ; 

at the Bermudas, 371 
Anglers, English and American, 54^ 

55 ; ladies as, 15-17 ; monks as, 

3-4 ; Sunday, 35 ; a paradise 

for, 310 
Angling, the essence of, 36 ; an 

epoch in sea, 99 ; the charm of 

sea, 125-126 ; piers in California, 

168 ; in ancient literature, 4, 

Anticosti, 316 

Aransas Pass Tarpon Club, 392 
Ara/paima, the, 362-365 
Archosa/rgus, 230 

Asbury Park Fishing Club, 381, 393 
Assam, 81, 84 
Atka-fish, the, 174 
Ausserfem, 195 
Avalon, 94, 101, 113, 117, 129, 138, 

140, 153, 157, 166, 169, 214 
Awa, the, 358 
Ayu, the (or Japanese samlet), 

Azores, 117, 228 

Baden, 197 

Bait, for roach, 37 ; for perch, 38 ; 
for muscallunge, 50-51 ; for 
mullet, 57 ; for the mahseer, 

74 ; for catfish, 81 ; a live frog 
as, 81-82 ; for swordfish, 90 ; 
for tuna, 102, 119; for black 
sea bass, 131 ; for white sea 
bass, 140 ; for yellowtail, 156, 
160 ; for roncador, 163 ; for 
the sheepshead, 165 ; receipts 
of extraordinary, 167-168 ; 
catching, 212-213 ; for amber 
jack, 214 ; for snappers, 221 ; 
for the barracuda, 233 ; for 
bluefish, 239 ; for channel-bass, 
244; for black bass, 306 

Ballycotton, 56, 59, 63, 65, 109 

Bamin, the, 83 

Barbel, the, 41 ; in India, 41, 74 ; 
in the Meuse, 199 ; in Morocco, 
339 ; other references, 36, 194 

Ba/rhus mosal, 41 

Barhus tor, 74 

Bavhus vulgaris, see Barbel 

Bargarius, 79 

Barils, the, 75 

Barracuda, the, 50, 148, 171, 219, 
232 ff., 340, 353, 368 

Bass, the, 27, 37, 51, 56, 58, 127, 181, 
183, 310, 317 ; in early times, 
59-60 ; in Japan, 353 

Bass, black, 299 ff. ; tackle for, 301 ; 
in Austria, 199 ; other refer- 
ences, 38, 187, 220 

Bass, black sea, 128 ff. ; methods of 
taking, 129-132 ; restricted 
range of, 132 ; other references, 
148, 157 

Bass, channel-, 238, 244-247, 335 

Bass (North Atlantic) sea-, 229 



Bass, rook-, 90, 147, 163, 308 

Bass, striped-, 238, 241 ff. 

Bass, white, 308 

Bass, white sea, 137 £f. ; Gulf of CaU- 
fomia species, 139 ; bait for, 
140 ; in the Bay of Avalon, 
137, 138, 139, 141 ; in Natal, 
340 ; other references, 104, 148, 
163, 341 

Batohwa, the, 81 

Begti, the (of Calcutta), 83 

Berners, Juliana, 3, 25, 26, 54, 55 

Biarritz, 177, 185 

BlanquiUo, the (or whitefish), 164-165 

Bleak, the, 194 

Block Island, 85, 91, 94 

Bluefish, the, 83, 135, 136, 150, 214, 
236, 238 ff. 

Boats, glass-bottom, 140, 143 

Bonito, the, 115 148 ; at Santa 
Catalina, 169 ; the Oceanic, 170 

Boston, 91, 94 

Botany Bay, 343 

Boulogne, 183 

Brama raii, 171 

Bream, the, 42, 61, 199, 340, 350; 
black, 343 

Brighton, 56, 59 

British Sea Anglers' Society, 53, 377 

Brittany, 182 

Burmah, 84 

Gabrilla, the spotted, 172 

Calcutta Angling Club, 79 

California, 43, 61, 69, 81, 114, 136, 
150 ff., 162 ; various towns of, 
168, 171 ; small shore fish of, 
172-174, 186, 194, 217 fl. 

Cape Cod, 91, 228 

Carangus gwara, 229 

Garangus latus, 211 

Caranx crysos, 211 

Caranx hippos, 210 

Carp, the, in India, 42, 72 ; in 
America, 42 ; in England, 42 ; 
Japanese, 347 ; other references, 
35, 78, 350 


Caribbean Sea, 362, 376 
Carpiono, the, 196 
Casting Club of France, 380 
Catfish, the, Indian, 72, 79, 81'; 

lines from Pwnch on, 80 ; Japan- 

esoj 352 ; South American, 365- 

GoMlolatilViS jyrinceps, 164 
Gentropomus, see Bobalo 
Geniropristes, 229 
Ceylon, 84 
Chad, the, 58, 61 
Chanos, the, 83 
Charr, the, 319 ff., size, 321, 323 ; 

in the lakes of Quebec, 321 ; 

nesting habits of, 323-324 ;jDoUy 

Varden, 327 ; Arctic, 328 ; in 

Greenland, 328 ; in England, 32 
Chertsey Weir, 33 
Chevril, the, 41 
Chilwa, the, 75 
Chitala, the, 81 
Ghrysopheys berda, 83 
Chub, the, 36, 37, 41, 194, 196, 198, 

Coal-fish, the, 56, 61, 231 
Cod, the, 56, 58, 62, 184 ; blue-, 174 
Codling, the, 58, 62, 175 
Conger, the, 56, 58, 61, 63, 65, 171, 

181, 183, 228 
Convict-flsh, the, 147 
Coollon, the, 83 
Coregonus, the, 194 
Goregonus arcUcus, 204 
Corsica, 186, 188 
Croppie, the, 308 
Cuba, 116, 228 
Curimata, the, 367 
Customs, old English, relating to 

fishing rights, 34 
Cynoscion nobilis, 137 
Gynoscion regale, 135 
Gyprmae, 74 

Dace, the, 35, 36, 41 ; large-headed, 

Daver, the, 41 


Devil-fish, the, 336 

Dog-fish, the, 70 

Dorado, the (or Dolphin), 148, 170- 

171, 368 
Dort, the, 41 
Drum, the (or Gaspergou), 309 

Eastbourne, 56 

Ebensee angling ground, 193 

Edinburgh Salmon Club, 380 

Eel, the, 36, 64-65, 184, 196, 350 ; 

in India, 82 ; electric, 362 
Eel pout, the, 42 
Elops, 83, 228 

Escolar (Ruvettus 'pretioaus), 228 
Eaox omericaMUs, 46 
Eaox wvmaculatus, 50 
Esox masquinongy, 48 
Eaox ohienaia, 50 
Eulachon (candle-fish), 353 

Fish dances, 367 

EUes, 3, 4, 8, 24, 27, 28, 182, 192, 

193, 197, 198, 204, 205, 207, 242, 

263, 274, 282, 295, 302 ff., 314, 

322, 350 
Florida, 58, 64, 65, 81, 83, 93, 125, 

133, 134, 142, 143, 152, 208, 

216 fi., 310 
Fly Fishers' Club (Piccadilly), 26, 379 
Fly fishing, 26 
Fly tying, the art of, 27 
Flying fish, 368 
Fountains Abbey, 18 
France, Angling Clubs of, 394 £f. 

Galacia, 181 

China, 41 

Goonch, the, 80 

Gourami, the, 84 

Gr&Ianda, the salt fish of, 72 

Graming, the, 42 

Grayling, the, in the Ure, 18-19, 22 ; 
Canadian Arctic, 19-20 ; Izaak 
Walton on, 20 ; R. B. Marston 
on, 20-21 ; species of, 21 j 
American, 21-22 ; and trout, 

23 ; where found, 22-23 ; flies 

for, 24 ; other references, 6, 

75, 179, 182, 190, 196, 197, 198, 

199, 200, 283 
Greenhngs, the, 231 
Grouper, the black, 128, 219, 339; 

the black-banded, 353 ; the 

red, 363 
Guahu, the, 368 
Gudgeon, the, 36, 41, 42 
Gulf Stream, the, 54, 116, 171, 232, 

Gurnard, the, 58 ; red, 56 ; flying, 

Gwyniad, the, 42 
Qymno-aa/rda, 116 
Oymnothorax modax, 171 

Haddock, the, 56, 62 

Hake, the, 56, 175 

Halibut, the, 56, 63 ; in Southern 

California, 169, 174 
Hastings, 56 

Hawaii, 111, 153, 166, 215, 357 ff. 
Heckle, the red, 304-305 
Heme Bay, 70 
Herring, the, 7, 350 
Hevender, the, 41 
Hogfish, the, 371 
Hooks, 9, 41, 55, 57, 102 
Hucho, the (Huchen or Kothfisch), 

195 348 
Hynnia cubenaia, 211 

Innsbruck, 195 
latiophoriia nigricans, 93 

Jack, the amber, 213, 215, 219, 229 ; 
Indian, 83 ; of Florida, 208 £E. ; 
VBjious species, 211 ; silver, 
229 ; in the Caribbean Sea, 362 

Japan, 86, 90, 111, 153, 166, 345 ff. 

JeUyflsh, the, 112, 148-149, 170 

Jewfish, the, Florida, 81, 127, 128 

Kelp-fish, the, 81, 144 ; character- 
istics of, 147, 225 



Kingfish, the, 162, 219, 232, 374 ; 

of Natal, 340 
Kite, the, 90, 102 ; the ' tuna,' 118, 

Kors, the, 81 
Kulanji, the, 83 
Kviromutsu, the, 353 

Labrador, 314, 316 
Lady anglers, 15-17 
Lady-fish, the, 171 
Lakes — 

Achensee, 195 

Achilty, 32 

Adirondack group, 328 ' 

Androsoroggin lakes, 329 

Argentino, 369 

Bellikal, 84 

Black (Friborg), 200 

Bumfoot, 84 

Caldonazzo, 196 

Chautauqua, 50 

Chiem, 198 

Constance, 200 

Doon, 32 

Eagle, 50 

Erie, 331 

di Garda, 196 

Geneva, 200 

Goktcha, 200 

Gosan, 192 

Grundl, 190 

Halden, 46 

Hallstatter, 190 

Huron, 331 

Jemptland lakes, 204 

Joux, 46, 200 

Klamath, 263, 272, 274, 277, 289 

Knochie, 32 

Kooteney, 287, 318 

Le Boeuf, 51 

Leven, 32 

Louise, 192 

Maben, 34 

Malveno, 196 

Mazama, 274 

Mond, 194 


Morol, 200 

Neuchatel, 46, 200 

Nipissing, 317 

Norwegian lakes, 204 

Ootacamund, 84 

Putterer, 197 

Rangelely, 329 

Beschen, 46 

SchwarZensee, 199 

di Serraza, 196 

St. WoHgang, 194 

Superior, 45, 331 

Tahoe, 277, 281 

Temagaming, 317 

TobUno, 196 

TopUtz, 190, 193 

Traun, 190, 192, 193 

Weber, 311, 321 

Zeller, 194 

Zurich, 46, 200 
Lamprey, the, 42 
Lanvpris, see Opha 
Latea calcwrifer, 83 
Laurentian Club, 311, 322 
Leuciscua cephalus, 41 
Leucisous rulilvs, 37 
Ling, the, 66 
Littlehampton, 56 
Loach, the, 42 
Lofoden Islands, 109, 205 
Los Angeles, 104, 162, 164 
Lowestoft, 56 
I/uiiamMS griaeus, 220 
Luvarus Jack, the, 166 

Mackerel, the, 56, 90, 101, 116, 350 ; 
in vaorious waters, 61 ; CaUfor- 
nian, 167 ; Spanish, 171, 213, 
228, 368, 372-373 ; Atka, 174 ; 
scad, 229; horse, 316; Fri- 
gate, 359 

Madagascar, 93 

Mahseer, the, 73-78 

Malta, 116 

Manta virostris, 336 

Margate, 57 

Matodai (Japanese), 353 


Mazathan, 136, 153, 228 

Medialuna, 172 

Mediterranean Sea, 91, 99, 101, 115, 

152, 177, 180, 186, 228, 240, 

339, 352 « 
Megalops cyprinoides, 83 
Menticirrus imdulatus, 162 
Microptenis dolomieu, 299 
Monterey, Bay of, 70, 108, 140, 142, 

267, 290 
Morocco, 339 
Mull, Isle of, 205 
Mullet, the, 167, 184, 350 ; in Florida, 

65 ; of Natal, 340 ; Hawaiian, 

358; grey, 56-57, 58, 181; 

red, 40 
Murral, the, 73, 81, 82 
Muscallunge, the, 48-51, 310, 317, 


New Jersey, 101, 109, 136, 162 
New South Wales Rod Fishers' 

Society, 341 
Newfoundland, 316 
Newhaven, 56 

Nolopterus chitala, see Chitala 
Nova Scotia, 316 

Octopus, the, 145 
Odawara (Japanese), 353 
Ontario, 317 
Opakapaka, the, 360 
Opha (or king-fish), 61-62 
Ophiocephaltis, 73, 81 
Orkney I., 205 
Osphromenus goramy, 84 
Ounaniche, the, 310, 311, 316 

83 ; blue-eyed, 167 ; white, 
308 ; other references, 4, 6, 35, 
36, 146, 182, 194, 196, 204, 343, 

Periophthalmus, the, 344 

Pescada, the, 367 

Petos, the, 228, 375 

Pickerel, see Pike 

Pike, the, savage nature of, 44 ; 
where found, 45-46 ; other 
names for, 47 ; time-honoured 
story of, 47-48 ; methods of 
taking, 48 ; other references, 4, 
35, 36, 182, 190, 193, 194, 196, 
199, 200, 204 

Pilot-fish, the, 228 

Piranhas, the, 367 

Plaice, the, 56, 62 

Plewogrwrnmus, see Atka fish 

Pogonias, 231 

Pollack, the, 56, 58, 61, 63, 181, 
184, 236 

Polynem/us tetradaetylus, see Bamin 

Pomacanthiis, 223 

Pomatomus saltatrix, 240 

Pomfret, the, 171, 350 

Pompano, the, 172, 174, 211, 229 

Poole Harbour, 109 

Poongah, the, 81 

Porgy, the, 230, 372 ; Japanese, 353 

Porto Rico, 229, 257 

Pout, the, 56, 58, 61 

Powan, the, 42 

Pupta, the, 81 

Quia Qwia, 229 

Palermo, 98, 180, 187 

Papagello, the, 368 

Paradise-fish, the, 84, 219 

Paralabrax nebulifer, 172 

Parrot-fish, the, 219, 223 ff. ; of 
Hawaii, 358 

Perch, the, yeUow, 38 ; weight of, 
38 ; where found, 39 ; litera- 
ture of, 39-40 ; red, 83 ; grey, 

Ranchu, the, 347 

Rays, the, 332 ff. ; in Florida, 333 ; 
methods of taking, 335 ; in 
California, 336 ; the manta, 
336, 337 ; in European waters, 

Red-fish, the, 196 

Regalecus, see Ribbon fish 

Ribbon fish, the, 43, 166 



Rivers — 
Aaro, 202 
Agno, 355 
Agusan, 356 
Aire, 19 
Alten, 202 
Amazon, 362 
Anson, 178, 179 
Avelanche, 84 
Avon, 29 
Bawa.nny, 75 
Berdugo, 181 
Calder, 19 
Cares, 179 
Cavery, 75 
Colorado, 307 
Columbia, 270, 287 
Danube, 195 
Dee, 14 
Delaware, 305 
Derwent, 2, 13, 14, 19, 29 
Douro, 178, 180 
Dove, 25, 29 
Ebro, 178 
Eden, 13, 29 
Eel, 296 
Elide, 182 
Ennes, 197 
Esk, 2, 6, 13 
Esla, 178 
Essequibo, 365 
Feather, 15, 26, 27, 28, 270, 282, 

Gaula, 203 
Godarery, 75 
Guadiana, 180 
Hodder, 2, 26 
Hudson, 242 
Humber, 62 
Irrawaddy, 76-78 
Isonzo, 197 
Kalia, 75 
Kangaroo, 341 
Kistna, 75 
Kunda, 84 
Leirdal, 202 
Loire, 20 


Mahoning, 50 

Meuse, 199 

Mimko, 179 

Minho, 178, 180 

Mississippi, 46, T^, 241, 308 

Missouri, 21 

Mondego, 180 

Namsen, 202, 204, 206 

Navia, 179 

Nidd, 19 

Odio, 50 

Olsa, 197 

Orbigo, 179 . 

Ouse, 23 

Potomac, 242 

Pykara, 84 

Quimperle, 182 

Restigouche, 1, 8, 316 

Rhine, 14, 35, 199, 200 

Ribble, 2, 9, 15 

Rogue, 291 

Soorff, 182 

Seine, 34, 35, 177 

Severn, 13, 29 

Shannon, 14 

Skell, 18 

Spey, 15-16 

St. John's, 230, 244, 246 

St. Lawrence, 27, 37, 38, 45, 46, 

101, 241, 299, 303, 308, 310, 

311, 343 
St. Mary's, 134, 230, 244 
Suir, 14 
Swale, 19 
Tagus, 180 
Tana, 204 
Tay, 7, 8,. 14 
Tees, 13, 19 
Thames, 7, 14, 34-35 
Thrask, 298 
Tiber, 177 
Tungabudra, 75 
Tweed, 2, 10-11, 13, 14, 62 
Ure, 2, 18-19 
Wharf e, 19 
Williamson, 28, 32, 263, 268, 272, 

274, 285 


Wilson, 298 

Wye, 2, 13, 14, 29, 302 

Zatas, 180 
Roach, the, 35, 36-37, 41 ; blue, 42 
Robalo, the, 229 
Boccus Ohrysops, 308 
Rocctis lineatus, 241 
Rook-cod, the, 340 
Rods, 9, 55, 57, 74, 101, 129, 136, 

177, 314 
Rohu, the, 78-79 
Ronoador, the, 163 
Rudd, the, 36-37 
Rufie, the, 42 
Rytikin, the, 347 

Sailfish, the, 93, 219, 339 

Salmo fmio, 31-32, 84 

Salmo ferox, 200 

Salmo fontinalis, 320 

Salmo irideus, 275 

Salmo salar, see Salmon 

Salmo salon- ounaniche, 316 

Salmo trutta, 32 

Salmon, 1 ff. ; habits of, 5 ; the 
young, 6 ; tackle for, 8-9 ; size 
of, 14 ; in Spain, 179 ; in France, 
182; Chinook, 187, 267-268, 
271-272 ; Pacific Coast, 262 ft., 
322 ; in Alaska, 270, 271 ; in 
Canada, 311 fi. ; in Nova Scotia, 
316 ; in New Zealand, 342 ; in 
Japan, 348, 352 ; other refer- 
ences, 46, 66, 73, 124, 166, 177, 
198, 199, 200, 205, 207, 318 

Salvelinus alpinus, 32 

Salvelinus fontinalis, 319 

Salzburg, 189, 194 

San Clemente, 85, 101, 103, 109, 111, 
118, 125, 153, 156, 160, 163, 
164, 218 

Santa CataUna, 63, 64, 69, 81, 87, 
90, 98, 101, 104, 109, 111, 114, 
118, 125, 128, 136, 140, 143, 153, 
158, 163, 169, 171, 180, 186, 
218, 243, 264 

Santa Cruz, 140, 267 

Sa/rda cMlenais, 115, 368 

Sarda swrda, 115 

Sardinia, 186, 188 

Sanger, the, 308 

Sawfish, the, 133, 338 

Scarborough, 59, 62 

Schnapper (the Australian), 342-343 

Scomberomorus sierra, 171, 228 

Sea gardens, 125-127, 143 ff. 

Sea-serpent, the, 43, 147 

Sea-slug, the, 145 

Seatord, 56 

Seer, the, 83 

Seriola dorsalis, 152 

Seriola lalandi, 152, 368 

Seriola zonata, 229 

Shark, the, 65-ff. ; in English waters, 
70 ; in Indian waters, 59 ; on 
the Southern Cahfomiaji Coast, 
172 ; other references, 146, 258, 

Sheepshead, the, 148, 165, 230 

Shepperton Weir, 33 

Shukin, the, 347 

Siam, 84 

Sicily, 117, 186 

Silwndia gangeUca, 80 

Skate, the, 56, 63 

Skelly, the, 41 

Skipjack, the, 115-116 

Smelt, the, 184 ; silvery jack, 167 

Snapper, the, 219-222, 372 

Sphyraena argentea, 171 

Spot-fin croaker, the, 163, 173 

Squaw fish, the, 307 

Squirrel fish, the, 230 

Steelhead, the, 289 S. ; in the Rogue 
River, Oregon, 291-294 ; tackle 
for, 295 

Stereolepis gigas, 128 

Streams : English salmon, 1, 2, 10, 
13 ; Yorkshire, 7 ; American, 
12, 23 ; Southern Michigan, 21 ; 
English, 23 ; English trout, 25- 
26, 28, 29; the Nilgiri, 84; 
Spanish trout, 178, 179 ; Cor- 
sican trout, 188 ; of the Tyrol, 



194 ; of Germany, 197 ; Rus- 
sian trout, 200 ; Swedish sal- 
mon, 202 ; Scandinavian trout, 
204 ; Iceland, 205, 207 ; Pacific 
Coast trout, 283 ; Colorado, 283^ 
284 ; SteeUiead, 291 ; Canadian, 
311 fE. ; United States brook- 
trout, 320; New South Wales 
bass, 341 ; New Zealand, 342 ; 
South American, 365 

Studis gigas, see Arapaima 

Sturgeon, the, 182, 350 

Sunflsh, the, 85, 187, 308 

Surmullet, the, 56 

Sword-fish, the, 85 ff. ; the killing of 
a typical, 87-90 ; Santa Cata- 
lina, 90, 93, 94, 97, 148, 255, 
351 ; common Atlantic, 91 ; 
strength of, 92 ; black, 93 ; 
other references, 62, 104, 117, 
121, 132, 133, 157, 180, 219, 
358, 372 

Tackle, 8, 55, 58, 90, 102, 154, 221, 
295, 301 

Tai (Japanese), 353 

Tangier, 339 

Tarpon, the, 248 f£. ; photograph- 
ing a, 248-251 ; other refer- 
ences, 24, 66, 69, 73, 83, 206, 
219, 362, 368 

Tarpon angling, in Texas, 249 ; 
times for, 251-252 ; incident 
marking a revolution in, 253- 
254; rules of, 256-257; at 
Useppa Island, 258-259 ; at 
Aransas Pass, Texas, 260 ; at 
Tampico, 261 

Tarpon Club, the, 25'4 

Tautog, the, 231 

Teignmouth, 60 

Tench, the, 4, 42, 196 

Tenea, 42 

Tengara (Indian catfish), 81 

Tengudai (Japanese), 353 

Tetrapterus mitsukurii, 90 

Texas, 65, 219, 229 


Thwnnua alaUmga, 112 

Thnmnus maculata, 111 

Thwnnus ihynwus, 101, 109 

Thymallus, 21 

Thymallus signifer, 19 

Tope, the, 56, 65, 70-71 ; size in 
Heme Bay, 71 

Trout, the, in Feather River, 26-28 ; 
in the WiUiamson (Oregon), 28 ; 
in England, 29 ; Brown, 31, 32, 
33, 35 ; mountain, 31 ; lake, 
32, 331 ; English sea, 32 ; 
Thames, 32 ; Loch Leven, 32 ; 
methods of taking, 33 ; sea, 56, 
134, 181, 205, 207 ; in India, 84 ; 
in Spain, 178-179 ; in Brittany, 
182-183; in Corsica, 188; the 
Huchen, 195, 199; in Germany, 
198 ; in Belgium, 199 ; in 
Norway and Sweden, 204 ff. ; 
in Colorado, 283-284;. in Can- 
ada, 313, 317 ; in Nova Scotia 
rivers, 316 ; in New South 
Wales, 341-342; in New Zea- 
land, 342 ; in Japan, 348, 352 ; 
other references, 4, 6, 23, 51, 
66, 75, 124, 177, 190, 192, 193, 
194, 196, 200, 267, 283, 311, 317, 

Trout angling, 321-322 ; in Eastern 
America, 330 

Trout, the brook, see Charr 
Trout, golden, of Sunapee, 324-326 ; 
the rainbow, 274 ff. ; in Italy, 
187 ; in Austria, 199 ; in Cali- 
fornia, Oregon and Washington, 
276 ff. ; in the Pelican Bay 
region, 279 ; in Lower Califor- 
nia, 287 ; in Central Africa, 340 ; 
in New Zealand, 342 ; various 
species, 280 ff. ; size of, 286 ; 
other references, 14-15, 27, 84, 
271, 322 
Trout, silver, 276-278 
Tuna, in olden times, 98 ; landing of 
large, 99-100; leaping, 101 ff., 
148; yeUow-fin, 110-112, 351 ; 


long-fin, 112-114; other refer- 
ences, 24, 86-87, 132, 139, 157, 
180, 181, 206, 232, 354, 370 

Tuna angling, 99 &., 104, 109, 117 ; 
expense of, 123-124 

Tuna aub, the, 99, 382 ff. 

Tunaplanes, 118; method of using, 

Tunny, the, 98, 101, 180, 182, 339 ; 
little, 116; at Sicily, 186-187 

Turbot, the, 56 

Tuscany, 153 

Tyrol, the, 194 

Walton, Izaak, on salmon, 2, 3 ; on 
the grayling, 20 ; on flies for 
trout, 30-31 ; on the rudd and 
roach, 37 ; on the pike, 48 ; 
quoted, 272, 288, 299 

Walu, the, 359 

Weakfish the, 134 fi. ; other names 
for, 134 ; weight of, 135 

Whitefish, the, 81, 148, 164-165, 
307, 361 

Whiting, the, 56, 61, 62, 162, 172- 
173, 184 

Wrasse, the, 56, 231 

Uku, the, 358, 360 

Ulua, the, 359 

Umbrina roncador, see Boncador 

Xiphias, see Sword-fish 
Xiphias gladius, 91 

Valentia, 62 
Vancouver, 140 
Vendace, the, 34 
Vienna, l96 
Vigo, 181 

Wakin, the, 347 
WaHago, the, 79 

Yellow-fin, the, 173 

Yellowtail, the, of California, 150 ££. ; 
extraordinary ' run ' of, 151- 
152 ; methods of taking, 153- 
160 ; and anchovies, 158-159 ; 
at Hawaii, 359 ; other references, 
9, 12, 24, 50, 104, 149, 163, 171, 
211, 222, 268, 353 

Printed by Butler <S- Tanner, Frame and London.